The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 120

52  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2017 1 JAB Clear, legible label, solid branding. 2 JABS Eye-catching label and memorable branding. 3 JABS Creatively inspiring in both packaging and branding. 4 JABS A near work of art and meaningful branding. 5 JABS A masterpiece in packaging and new benchmark in branding. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG For info on submitting samples, email Jessie Birschbach, Managing Editor of The SOMM Journal and Certified Sommelier—or JABS, as we call her in the office—uses her experience as a sommelier and her background in marketing to rate retail wines/ spirits/beer on both the inside and the outside of the bottle. For this reason, we forgo the tradi- tional 100-point rating system and employ only the "JABS" rating system to assess packag- ing and brand identity. As for the inside of the bottle, you can be sure that these wines/spirits/ beers have met the reasonably high yet unpretentious standard of simply being delicious. DECEMBER I Mille 2014 Petite Sirah, Rockpile-Sonoma County ($42) The landscape- oriented label has the classical look of an Italian Renaissance painting, yet the event depicted—the Spedizione dei Mille, or "Expedition of the Thousand"—took place in 1860. Giuseppe Garibaldi led a thousand men (including Francis Ford Coppola's great-grandfather) on an ambitious expedition from Quarto dei Mille to Marsala, where they conquered the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. This wine serves as a tribute to those men and offers intense ripe blackberries and boysenberries fragranced with violets. The mid-palate gives way to buttery plum tart, mild coffee, and nutmeg, while a chewy texture tempers the ripe flavors and higher alcohol. A sentimental, awesome example of well-made Petit Sirah. FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA WINERY Hope Estate 2016 Wollombi Brook Semillon, Hunter Valley ($14) The bold-lettered, simple black-and-white label is a recently-unveiled con- temporary look that works quite well considering the straightforward name of the producer, Hope Estate. This single-vineyard, estate-grown Semillon from the Wollombi Brook vineyard packs a nice wallop of acid to counter its fuller-bodied richness. The lemon and lime finish the race well after the yellow apple and honeycomb. For $14, this is a steal—it might even be better in five or so years. WINESELLERS, LTD. . Domaine Zind-Humbrecht 2015 Roche Calcaire Riesling, Alsace ($56) It's not the dress I'm used to seeing this iconic Alsatian producer wear, but it's just as classy. Flinty at the get-go, the red apple, red apple skin, orange peel, and juicy lemon waltz about the palate in an even tempo that ends in an earthy, mineral-driven bow. Named after the limestone (calcaire) found in the Vosges mountains, this wine comes from the Biodynamic vineyards of Riesling planted in the '60s and '70s. There's eight grams of residual sugar here, but you'd never know it. This is a substantial yet dry and refreshing Riesling with a finish that won't quit. Prophecy 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($14) This dignified illustra- tion by award-winning, New York–based illustrator Victo Ngai is impos- sible to ignore on a shelf. The package is so cool it almost outshines the easy-drinking jammy Cabernet Sauvignon from California. E. & J. GALLO

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - December 2017