A continuing series on wine labels, and the wines that wear them, under the macro lens.
I love to take photos of pieces of things with my macro lens — pieces of wine labels seemed like a natural extension of that inclination. It’s a lot of fun to see the colors, and especially the textures, on a wine label that you wouldn’t ordinarily see (or maybe even notice). It’s almost as fun as drinking the wine. Almost. So, I thought . . . why not stitch the photos together into a collage?
Voila! My week in wine labels.
Do you recognize any of these guys??
Tenuta Serradenari Barolo 2004 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/90
I can’t remember where I got this bottle. I probably bought it during one of my frequent, but short-lived Barolo binges (this is where I decide I need more Barolo, buy a couple of bottles, and then remember Barolo is expensive). Although, this one didn’t break the bank — it was $28ish. 100% Nebbiolo from the highest vineyards in Barolo (between 450 and 530 meters above sea level). This bottle has a decade of age on it, and it’s lovely. Lots of leather and coffee notes, with some black fruits in the back seat.
I couldn’t find any info on the label logo (boo!). It reminds me of a mosaic puzzle I had when I was a kid, though. I did learn that Serradenari is the name of the farmhouse on the property — it’s considered the peak of Barolo. According to local lore, during the Black Death in Italy, the local peasants took their life savings and sought refuge on the peak. (I guess if you can’t pray away the plague you head for the hills?) Sara D’nè is the local dialect for sierra of money.
McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina California Red Wine 2007 ⭐⭐⭐/88
Cuvée Kristina is named after the wife of winemaker, McPrice Myers (the first vintage was 2005, the year of their marriage). The McPrice Mysers labels feature an Irish Claddagh ring — a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. It’s very handsome in orange. This is one of my last McPrice Myers bottles. I used to have a McPrice Myers wine club membership, but it fell victim to one of my wine club purges (I’m a big fan of McPrice Myers wines, but unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much wine, or rather not enough space to put all of your wine, so sometimes you have to cull the herd). Cuvée Kristina is a Rhône style GSM blend. It’s massive and hedonistic, almost inky. Licorice, blueberry notes weigh heavily on my palate. I think this was $40ish.
Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling GG 2011 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/93
In the dizzying tangle that is German wine regulations, if you see GG on a wine label, that’s your signal that it’s the highest level of quality, from a very select vineyard. GG means Großes Gewächs, or great growth (think Grand cru). GG also means it’ll be a dry wine. This wine is made with grapes from the steepest part of the Paulinshofberg vineyard, at a 65% slope. If you’re a skier, that’s solidly into double-black diamond/imminent doom territory. Minerals, wet stones, white peach, and glorious acidity to tie it all together. Wish I had a case of this. $45ish.
I’ve got zippy on the label . . . but I like the background especially under the macro-lens. It looks like little waves. The logo reminds me of a treble clef sign in music.
Champagne Philippe Fourrier Carte d’Or Brut ⭐⭐⭐/87
Champagne Philippe Fourrier was founded in 1847 (right about the time a German guy named Karl Marx was living in Paris, writing for radical newspapers, and fine-tuning his thoughts on the bourgeoise and the struggle of the working class). Champagne Philippe Fourrier is located in the Vallée de l’Aube, or Côte des Bar region of Champagne. The soils in Côte des Bar are different from the rest of Champagne (limestone marl soils vs. chalk). The Carte d’Or blend is 100% Pinot Noir. And maybe it’s the Champagne talking, but I feel like this bottle is a little less acidic and less mineral driven than those from the chalkier regions. Still pretty delightful stuff, though. Another one of my WTSO “Exploring Champagne” purchases. $24ish.
Using my coat of arms knowledge from last week, I know the lion on the Philippe Fourrier coat of arms is in the lion guardant position. What, exactly, he’s guarding, I couldn’t tell you.