Photo: This might offend you if you have a religious thin skin.
A few weeks ago, a man who only identified himself as a “Christian”
called me to complain about a Blasted
wine called Jesus
“That’s blasphemous,” he kept insisting.
He had already vented to the manager of a Liquor
Distribution Branch store and he was letting off more steam to me. It was
suggested that, as a wine writer, I could do something to get Blasted Church Vineyards
to, well, repent.
Fat chance of that! This is a winery with a portfolio that
includes Bible Thumper, Cross to Bear, Holy Moly, Nothing Sacred, OMG, Swear to
God and Amen.
These are all the inventions of Brandever, the Vancouver
design and marketing
agency that helped the new owners of Prpich Hills rebrand in 2002 as Blasted Church Vineyards
. That was a great success.
The name was inspired by a church in nearby Okanagan Falls
that had been moved there in 1929 from Fairview
a mining ghost town. The movers had to loosen the nails in the beams with a
small charge of dynamite.
Many of the Blasted
labels include a
caricature of a preacher performing various activities. For example, he is
blessing two mixed race couples on the label of Mixed Blessings.
The preacher on Jesus Murphy looks exasperated enough that
you can imagine him cussing. Preachers are human, after all.
I don’t know whether my caller actually bought the wine. It
is exclusive to the Liquor Distribution Branch and is listed in 144 stores,
which means Blasted
is contributing to
alleged profanity across the province. Even more alarming to my caller will be
the news that when the LDB sells all of the 2012 Jesus Murphy, it will begin
selling the 2013 vintage. It is already up on the LDB website.
My caller will really blow a fuse if he comes across the new
Lost Inhibitions series of wines from Church & State. There are dozens of
provocative labels also designed by Brandever. Two of the milder examples:
Namaste Bitches and This Is Effing Epic. I am told the wines are selling at one
Here are notes on some Blasted Church
Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Sold out; only 437 cases were produced). I wish I had
encountered this delicious wine earlier in the season. The wine begins with
lovely tropical aromas of lime, guava and peach, which echo on the luscious
palate. The wine has a crisp and lively finish. 90.
Blasted Church Mixed
Blessings 2014 ($16.50 for 850 cases).
This wine also is labelled Viognier because that variety is 90% of the
blend. The wine is completed with seven per cent Ehrenfelser and three per cent
Pinot Gris. The wine begins with aromas of peach and apricot. These are echoed
in the flavours. The wine has a spine of minerality that enhances the rich
weight on the palate. The finish is crisp. 90.
Blasted Church Jesus Murphy
2012 ($16.99 for 1,300 cases). This wine is a blend of 63% Cabernet
Sauvignon, 25% Malbec and 12% Merlot. The wine was aged 24 months in French and
American oak, 30% of it new. It has
aromas of cassis and black cherry with generous (but not too much) oak. On the
palate, there are flavours of blackberry and bell pepper. It is a medium-bodied
red, quite pleasantly quaffable. 88.
Blasted Church Syrah
2013 ($23 for 1,823 cases). The wine has aromas and flavours of black
cherry and vanilla. The texture is ripe and generous with appealing red fruit
and pepper on the mid-palate and the finish. The good natural acidity gives the
wine refreshing and lively appeal. 90.