Monday, March 17, 2008

Deadheads, Butterflies and Steve McQueen

Some wine labels are all about the grape, the history, the geography. That’s great, important info – we like a place for everything, everything in its place. But don’t you love those offbeat labels, the little mystery behind the artwork or wine's name? It adds a little something to the charm of opening the bottle or offering the wine as a gift.

A friend of mine said he was immediately coaxed into buying the Hazyblur Shiraz 2003 because its name reminded him of his Deadhead days, but the wine was so full-bodied and intense that it’s now his favorite Shiraz.

Just in at kybecca, the Orin Swift Papillon 2005 from Napa is a beautiful Meritage with an intriguing label. A prison-style tattoo spells out Papillon on the vineyard-worn hands of Vince Tofanelli (Tofanelli Vineyards). The name comes from the 1973 Steve McQueen/Dustin Hoffman movie about a prison escape, and from the French, for butterfly. In the movie, McQueen sports a butterfly tattoo. In choosing Papillon, Dave Phinney continues a theme – he is the winemaker best known for his excellent Zin blend The Prisoner.

Papillon is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Merlot, Cab Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec. Rich and savory with soft layers of dark cherry, ripe sweet plums, anise, toffee, cocoa, rich smoky oak and a hint of truffles on the lush finish. It looks wonderful for tonight or any night over the next several years. At 15.1% alcohol, Papillon is an opulent wine.

Decant and let it breathe for about an hour – it has a big story to tell.


Matt said...

If you stand about 10 feet away from the Hazy Blur Shiraz the rings do in fact turn into a blur.

Luke said...

Great post. I'm sold.