Friday, October 16, 2009

"Uncomplicated and Delicious"

I like the phrase, "uncomplicated and delicious" and it suits this wine perfectly: Elderton Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.

I've been to a few tastings where the sommelier took pleasure in the fact that New South Wales Australia suffered a few terrible drought years, the bright side being that the price of Yellowtail would go up and people might finally discover other Australian wines worthy of purchase. This winery is from the same neighbourhood, maybe even close enough to share a few vines - but it is definitely a better glass. Or two.

Slate has an interesting piece about "How Yellowtail Crushed the Australian Wine Industry," detailing how the marketing of the brand denigrated the whole continent by association:
The biggest problem is that Australia has made itself synonymous in the minds of many drinkers with cut-rate, generic wines.... However, what was good for Yellow Tail wasn't so great for the Australian wines as a whole. For one thing, Yellow Tail spawned a legion of imitators, and retail shelves were soon crawling with "critter" labels featuring penguins, crocodiles, and other regional fauna. At the same time, Yellow Tail's success prompted rival Australian brands to focus even more of their efforts on the budget category. As a result, consumers came to equate Australia with wines that were flavorful but also cheap and frivolous, a perception that became a major liability when those same consumers got interested in more serious stuff; rather than looking to Oz, they turned to Spain, Italy, and France.

This label is taking a different marketing approach and dissociating itself from any cute critters. But more importantly, it tastes a whole lot better.

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