Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rollingdale unveils smart new labels

When the wine market is as competitive as it has become, how does a winery get notice for its products?

One way is to roll out smart new labels, as a number of B.C. wineries have done recently (CedarCreek, Blasted Church, Road 13, 8th Generation and Venturi-Schulze come to mind).

The latest to enter the new label sweepstakes is Rollingdale Winery, a low profile winery although it is the closest winery in the Mt. Boucherie region to Kelowna.

The above photo provides a before and after shot. The dark label with gold lettering is on the winery’s 2005 Pinot Noir. It is a classic label that one might find on a famous centuries-old French producer. Trouble is, Rollingdale is about five years old and, even though it is an organic producer, it is not well known.

The white label is brilliantly contemporary and New World. It is the sort of label you can see across the room. When it sits on the restaurant table next to you, it will get noticed – unlike the former label. And it is a label that will not need to be revisited in a couple of years. Kudos to the designer.

The winery has released both an organic Pinot Gris and a non-organic Pinot Noir under the new labels. One assumes there are other releases in the works.

The 2009 Organic Estate Pinot Gris ($24.90) is a bold and rich white, with flavours and aromas of citrus, pears, peaches and nectarines. The wine has good weight on the palate but is crisp and refreshing on the finish. I have sometimes found organic wines to lean toward insipidness. Happily, that is not so with this wine. The back story is that the vines were cropped a ton to the acre, unusually low but a sure way to concentrate flavours. The grapes were picked under the full moon. You may or may not believe that has anything to do with wine quality. 88

The 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir ($24.90) is light and, as is the case with this grape, still developing texture, body and flavour. It has raspberry aromas and flavours with subtle oak notes (the wine spent two years in French oak). 86

Rollingdale’s peers might keep on eye on how well these wines sell. I am betting the label makeover will give Rollingdale a big lift.

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