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. I can’t sew (not even a button). But I can take photos. So, I thought . . . why not “stitch” the photos together into a quilt?
See all of my wine label quilt squares in once place by clicking on the Wine Label Quilts tab at the top of this page.
Recognize any of these guys?
I thought it might be interesting to add a map feature to these posts (I tend to think better with a map). So, where did I drink this week?
- The village of Vosne-Romanée in the Côte de Nuit, Burgundy, France
- The village of San Román de Hornija, Toro, Duero Valley, Spain
- Pomerol (right-bank), Bordeaux, France
- Bierzo, Castile and Leon, Spain
And what did I drink? Clockwise, from the top right:
Chanson Pere et Fils Vosne-Romanée Suchots 1er Cru 2005 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/92
Established in 1750 (during the reign of Louis XV), Chanson Pere et Fils is one of the oldest négociant houses in Beaune. The cellars are located in the Bastion de L’Oratoire, a medieval defense tower in Beaune that dates to the 15th century (back when Burgundy was a Duchy during the 100 Years War).
This is a Pinot Noir from the Suchots climat (vineyard) in the northern part of the village of Vosne-Romanée in the Côte de Nuits of Burgundy (whew, that was quite a sentence). To clarify, this is not the famed and ghastly expensive Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (someday, I will taste that wine, but not today). The Chanson is a very elegant, restrained wine. Bright ruby color. Cherry and spice notes. Superb balance and structure. Perfume and finesse. My glass is very happy. $100ish.
I assume this is the Chanson crest on the label? I looked for the “label story”, but couldn’t find it (story of my life, at least with this series). I never realized how many wine labels feature family crests until I started this project.
Elias Mora Toro 2006 ⭐⭐⭐/89
From the DO Toro region (specifically, the village of San Román de Hornija) of the Duero Valley in Spain. The Duero River Valley has an extreme continental climate. Have you ever been to Spain in the summer? If so, you know it’s hot. Infernally hot. The soils in Toro are limestone with a rocky top-crust, which helps keep the vines happy in that heat. It also served as a barrier to phylloxera, so the vines in Toro are ungrafted, and often very old. In a word, rustic.
100% Tinta de Toro (aka Tempranillo). Medium garnet color. Nose is a cedar-lined cigar box in a leather chair. There’s an herbal component here, too. Ah-ha! Tomato vine!! Lots of earth, leather and tea notes. There was probably more fruit in this bottle a couple of years ago. It might be a little past its peak, but still mighty enjoyable. I can’t ask for much more from a $20 bottle.
The Elias Mora website is in Español, with no handy UK/American flags to translate it into English. That meant I had to dust off my rustic Spanish and try to slog through it. Elias Mora is named for the man who once owned the vineyards. The label looks like it’s sporting a red W, but it’s actually two Vs, for Dos Victorias. The Bodega was started by two Victorias — at Victoria Benavides and Victoria Pariente, but they’ve since parted ways.
Château La Croix de Gay Pomerol 2005 ⭐⭐⭐/88
From the Pomerol appellation in on the right-bank of Bordeaux. Château La Croix de Gay dates to the mid 1800s (right about the time Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became Napoleon III, Emperor (dictator) of the Second French Empire — not that Napoleon, Louis-Napoléon was that Napoleon’s nephew).
This is a right-bank blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Very soft, with flavors of plums, spice and chocolate. Friendly tannins. Not sure it would benefit from more cellar time, so open this guy now-ish. $50ish.
The label is a drawing of the Le Château. I’m sure you got that. (I tried for two days, but I couldn’t get the Château La Croix de Gay website to load, not even in French, so I have no history on the château. Boo.)
Bodega del Abad Gotin del Risc 2013 ⭐⭐⭐/86
From the Bierzo DO in the northwest corner of Spain (in Castile and Leon). This is 100% Godello (aka Gouveio in Portugal). A new grape for me. Fresh and light, with lots of stone fruit, minerals, and peppy acidity. This would be a super match for just about any seafood. And it’s an obscure enough grape to remain a real bargain (at least for a while) at $15.
Gotin is a word in Bierzo used to describe a glass of wine shared between friends. With it’s raised lettering, the Gotin label reminds me an awful lot of braille. Someone at Gotin del Risc got out their bedazzler for this label. Not sure why. But it’s cheery and kinda fun.