Notable Wine Labels on Rick's WineSite

Since this website is largely about wine and art and photography,  its only fitting to recognize
Notable Wine Labels

Criteria for Wine Label of the Month:

Attractive - Imaginative, stylish, colorful, appealing to the eye
Branding - Recognizable branding for the producer
Content  - Informative about the product, producer
Distinctive - Imaginative
Easy to read
Fun
Or NOT, but indeed distinctive!

 Venge Vineyards Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003Venge Vineyards Family Reserve Penny Lane Vineyard Oakville Napa Valley Sangiovese 2002Venge Vineyards Family Reserve Scout's Honor Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend 2003  
Venge Vineyards
Series - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Scout's Honor Blend
Unique distinctive oil painting artwork of vines, vineyard scenes, vineyard and winery buildings.
Strong branding affinity and totally functional with all requisite label information.
 
Fowles 'Ladies who shoot their lunch' victoria Shiraz 2012 Fowles Wine
'Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch' Victoria Shiraz 2012
Once again, you have to love those Aussie's and their sense of humour. According to their website, The Fowles Family are "A mixture of English and Irish, the Fowles family ancestors arrived in Australia (by choice!) in the early 1800’s to pursue all the opportunities and excitement the new continent had to offer. Successive generations and branches of the family have featured business men and women (including the founder of what is now the Bendigo Bank during the gold rush), lawyers, doctors, miners, soldiers, journalists, farmers and auctioneers. After 34 years David Fowles parted with his interest in Fowles Auction Group to focus on the family’s property, financial and rural interests including viticulture and winemaking. Matt Fowles, one of four boys in the Fowles family, stepped up from a successful legal career with international law firm Baker & McKenzie to lead Fowles Wine. .. When Matt isn’t taking Fowles Wine to the world he can be found playing with wine or hunting for his table.'  ...Matt is the man behind the innovative Ladies who Shoot their Lunch wine – the world's first wine to be blended to complement wild game meat."
 
Roots Vineyard
Klee Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
In homage to one of producer  Chris Berg's favorite artists, Roots' second label, Klee (named after Paul Klee), makes up the largest portion of their case production with 2,000 cases made annually. The artwork is their own adaptation of a Klee painting. An art lover would recognize the artist Klee style artwork, the label is a clever rendition of a brilliant melange of color with a take-off of the Chesire Cat and a wine bottle.
 
Fess Parker Big Easy Red WineFess Parker Vineyards
The Big Easy  Red Wine Blend
Foul - Another original artwork label featuring “Bourbon Street Dazzle” By Diane Millsap. While colorful, stylish and picturesque artwork, the label provides no data about the wine.

Its a Santa Barbara County Red Wine Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Petit Syrah from four different designated vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. Never mind the vintage.
 
   
Matsu El Picaro, El Recio Tempranillo Matsu
El Picaro and El Recio Tempranillo, Toro Spain
Two more original artwork labels featuring eye-catching pictures of two vintage characters. Interesting and quaint but again, the labels provides no data about the wine. Foul. 
 
 
Spring Valley Uriah Walla Walla Red Wine 2002Spring Valley Frederich Walla Walla Red Wine 2007Spring Valley Vineyard
Uriah & Frederick Red Wine Blends and Katherine Corkrum Cab Franc

All in the family - ancestral photos. Three  examples showing you can achieve the eye-catching photo's or artwork while still providing requisite wine data. These are unique as they are photos of the producer's ancestors who originally settled the property.

Whimsical and distinctive but lack consistent branding.
   
Melka Napa Valley CJMelka Wines
CJ Red Wine


Winemaker's self portrait. Eery stange photo with minimalist wine label info.

See the Dominus winemaker portrait series below.
 
   
Tuck Beckstoffer 'Melee' Grenache 2010Tuck Beckstoffer 'Melee' Grenache 2010 Center LabelTuck Beckstoffer 'Melee' Grenache 2010 Right-rear Label
Tuck Beckstoffer
 'Melee'
 Grenache
 2010
 Tuck Beckstoffer Wine Labels
Unique distinctive artwork in three wrap-around panels on an oversize heavy bottle.
 
 
Diamond Creek Vineyard Horizontal of 1989 three vineyards magnums
Producer:

Diamond Creek

Wine:

Vineyard Designated
Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

Napa Valley Diamond Mountain

Vintage

2004

Legendary Diamond Creek is a case study in terroir - each of its four vineyards with its own micro-climate, soil type and geography that are revealed in their single vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignon wines and labels - named for their four distinctly different origination vineyards.
The vineyards and labels of Diamond Creek are Gravelly Meadow, Red Rock Terrace , Volcanic Hill , and Lake.  See these vineyards and their special thirtieth anniversary artist labels on my unwindwine wineblog.
Wine Guerilla Adel's Vineyard Dry Creek Sonoma County Zinfandel 2008  Wine Guerilla Russian River Valley Sonoma County Zinfandel 2008 Wine Guerilla Forcmini Vinyard Sonoma County Old Vines Zinfandel 2007
Wine Guerilla Sonoma County Zinfandel 2008
Producer:

Wine Guerilla

Wine:

Zinfandel

Region/Appellation:

Sonoma County - Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley

Vintage

2008-09

Wine Guerrilla,” began as a broker of small-production artisinal wines, provides reasonably priced zinfandel wines from   Sonoma county’s best-known growers.  Wine Guerilla sports unique distinctive fun, stylish and creative  artwork featured labels.  See Wine Guerilla label library.

 Fittings Grenache 2011 
Producer:

Sarl H & Co.

Wine:

Fittings Grenache

Region/Appellation:

Languedoc Roussillon,
Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes

Vintage

2011

 

Bizarre branding labeling design. I don't get it ....

Flora Springs Trilogy 1990 label  
Producer:

Flora Springs

Wine:

Trilogy

Region/Appellation:

Napa Valley, Rutherford

Vintage

1990-2007

 Since 1984 Flora Springs has produced this Napa Valley Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot. The imaginative label prominently features grape vine leaves of the three grapes.  Robert Parker calls the wine
"... a Napa Valley version of St-Emilion blended with a Margaux."
 
Brujeria South East Australia Red Wne
Producer:

Misfit Wine Co.

Wine:

Brujeria Red Wine Shiraz

Region/Appellation:

Southeast Australia

Vintage

2007

 
Another label notable for its unattractiveness. they had to work hard to come up with something so vulgar looking.  Brujeria was inspired by classic Ribera del Duero reds, but is based off of the Aussie signature grape, Shiraz along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Tempranillo.
 
Southern Belle Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005
Producer:

Southern Belle

Wine:

Shiraz

Region/Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Vintage

2005

 
Certainly distinctive but another notable label  for the wrong reason.  A confusing label to say the least -  it almost looks like its printed in some Asian language.
 
Producer:

Nova Wines

Wine:

Marilyn Merlot
Norma Jean Merlot

Region/Appellation:

Napa Valley

Vintage

2003 shown

This vertical selection has become a collector edition featuring authentic library photographs of Marilyn Monroe adorning the labels. The wine is good and value priced ($22) making this a fun collectable, serving suggestion, or gift bottle. For those even more budget constrained there is a second "Norma Jean" label priced at around $10.
See Marilyn Merlot Library Page on Rick's WineSite.
Mollydooker Enchanted Path McLaren Vale Shiraz cabernet 2007 label
Producer:

Mollydooker

Wine:

 "Enchanted Path"
Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

Mclaren Vale Australia

Vintage

2004-2007

 
 Mollydooker - Australia for  "Left Handed" from Sarah & Sparky Marquis. Their family of wines feature whimsical cartoon charachiture labels. 
 Mollydooker The Maitre D Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Label Mollydooker The Scooter Merlot 2006 Label
Producer:

Mollydooker

Wine:

"Carnival of Love"  Shiraz
Region/Appellation:

Mclaren Vale Australia

Vintage

2004-2007

 
   
 
 
Fantesca Estate & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 bottle
Producer:

Fantesca Estate & Winery

Wine:

 Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

Spring Mountain, Napa Valley

Vintage

2002-2007

The notable point of these labels is that there isn't one! The classically elegant etched and painted bottle is matched by a refined polished elegant wine suitable for the most distinguished gathering!
Label - Fanesca Estate Chardonnay 2005 The same can be said for their Carneros Chardonnay (left) as well. From our friends Susan and Duane Hoff.
 
Producer:
Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA

Wine:

Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Region/Appellation:

France, Bordeaux, Pauillac

Vintage

Since 1945

No producer in the world captures the imagination or attention of wine collectors more than Mouton Rothschild with their annual artist series of labels. Each year a renowned artist is commissioned to do the artwork for that vintage. Labels have been produced by the world's most famous contemporary artists, Chagall (1970), Dali (1958), Picasso (1973), Miro (1969), Andy Warhol (1975), as well as other luminaries such as Prince Charles (2004) and Hollywood director John Huston (1982) (shown at left). See the complete Mouton Rothschild Wine Label Library on Rick's Winesite.
 
Producer:

Dominus Estate

Wine:

Proprietary Red Blend

Region/Appellation:

Yountville Napa Valley

Vintage

1983-1990

Christian Moueix fell in love with Napa Valley and its wines while studying at U.C. Davis. After many years of searching the ideal vineyard location, in 1982 he entered into a joint venture with  John Daniel's family. This was the birth of Dominus, and its first vintage was harvested in 1983. Since then, Christian Moueix has worked to restore the unique character of the original vineyard. He became full owner in 1995. Charicature drawings of Christian Mouiex adorned the labels from 1983-1990.  See the Dominus wine label library on DominusEstate.com or Rick's Winesite Label Library - Dominus.

 
 
Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel Label
Producer:

Plungerhead

Wine:

Old Vines Zinfandel

Region/Appellation:

Dry Creek Valley

Vintage

2004


You can't say winemakers don't have a sense of humor!  You just hope their taste in grape juice exceeds their taste in marketing, style and  design.
 
Owen Roe Sinister Hand Columbia Valley 2006
Producer:

Owen Roe

Wine:

Sinister Hand

Region/Appellation:

Columbia Valley

Vintage

2006

Another one that provokes, "what were they thinking?" Well the story is, the label is a family crest – a depiction of a severed left hand from the story of a rowing competition among the O’Neills and O’Reillys (Owen Roe was an O’Neill). Whoever touched land first after rowing across the lake was rewarded with the land he touched. Lagging behind, one of the kinsfolk grabbed his sword, cleaved his hand and pitched it ashore to touch land first. He won the land and eventually ruled over it as king. Not exactly the bottle to set on the table of an elegant dinner party! Rhone style blend of 63% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 7% Mourvedre.
   
Owen Swift - Napa Valley Palermo
Producer:

Orin Swift

Wine:

Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

Napa Valley

Vintage

2012

Another instance of what were they thinking?
Easy to confuse Orin Swift (Napa) and Owen Roe (Columbia) )above) - same dark perspective or approach ... Many of the Orin Swift label have an eery sense about them .. http://www.orinswift.com/
Orin Swift Palermo Napa Red 2012 - rear label
 
 
 
Producer:

Kenwood

Wine:

Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

 Napa Valley

Vintage

1999

Many producers now sport 'artist's series'. Another brightly colorful use of stylish  artwork - the modern graphic, tastefully set into the label design.  I don't want to lend too much credence to the use  of artwork detracting from the wine but these are very attractive.
 
Producer:

Chateau Leoville Barton

Wine:

 

Region/Appellation:

Bordeaux - St Julien

Vintage

ongoing

Classic Bordeaux label depicting the Chateau indicating the wine is Estate bottled.
 
 
Producer:

Chateau Leoville Las Cases

Wine:

 

Region/Appellation:

Bordeaux - St Julien

Vintage

1981

Classic Bordeaux label depicting the vineyard - gate to Leoville Las Cases in St Julien - adjacent to Chateau Latour in Pauillac. One of my favorite labels,  this one is from five liter Imperial of Erin's birthyear served at her and Johnny's wedding.
 
Elan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1995
Producer:

Elan

Wine:

Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

Atlas Peak  Napa Valley

Vintage

1990's

Stylish use of artwork - the image is of a piece of glasswork, tastefully set into the label design. 
 
Duckhorn Howell Mountain 1990
Producer:

Duckhorn

Wine:

Howell Mountain
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Region/Appellation:

Howell Mountain,  Napa Valley

Vintage

1990

Simple but distinctive...  gives the blend of the wine and the producer information, clearly and succinctly. Duckhorn has a second label 
 
Producer:

Jinks Creek

Wine:

Heathcote Shiraz

Region/Appellation:

Australia

Vintage

2002

Notable for the wrong reasons. This one is striking but for contrary reasons. Probably one of the most 'haunting' labels imaginable. Even taking into account the series of artistic feminine images, this one is over the top in negative attractiveness and appeal. I think I know what they were attempting but this one may have the opposite effect. What do you think?
 
 
Producer:

Sequoia Grove

Wine:

Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Region/Appellation:

Rutherford, Napa Valley

Vintage

1998

 
 

Producer:

Flora Springs

Wine:

Wild Boar
Cabernet Sauvignon

Region/Appellation:

Napa Valley

Vintage

1998

 
 

Having trouble pronouncing those French, German, Italian wine or varietal names?
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See Featured Producers and Wines on Rick's WineSite
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Refer to Vintage Charts to assess wines.

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