Top 10 wacky names for wine
By Louise Johnson
Are they smart marketing ploys or an outlet for creative winemakers for whom a label like “2006 shiraz” doesn’t do justice to the fabulous fluid and months of anguish contained within their bottles? Whatever it is, there are some very interesting monikers for wines on the shelves and we’ve picked out our ten wacky favourites.
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch
Plunkett Fowles, Strathbogie Ranges
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch also win trophies, and at the International Wine Challenge in London it won the gong for the best Victorian red. The judges say the 2006 Shiraz has a “cool climate nose of smoky ripe eucalyptus and aromatic berry fruit with some menthol, mint and pepper and a juicy palate, with crunchy fruit and lovely minty freshness and solid spice support”.
Wild Duck Creek, Heathcote
US wine writer Robert Parker gave this Heathcote winery’s 1997 vintage Duck Muck 99 points and since then it’s become a cult wine. If you’re lucky you’ll find a magnum of the 2000 vintage retailing for just under AU$1200, but the prized 1997 vintage is rarer than, well, duck’s teeth – they made only 70 cases. Parker wrote in Wine Advocate: “my tasting notes begin with the words "great stuff." Opaque black purple-coloured, with a viscosity resembling vintage port, this thick, chewy shiraz exhibits a panorama of black fruits intermixed with liquorice, tar, roasted herbs, and sweet oak”.
Pig in The House
Pig in The House, Cowra
The vineyard, just 20 kilometres from Cowra in the Central Ranges of NSW, was originally home to 20 free range pigs. The pigs left in 1996 to be replaced with 15 hectares of vines accredited for organic production. The wine is ripe plum in colour and has aromas of musk and oven baked cherry pie. Flavours of raspberry and plum are enticing and well balanced by silky tannins.
The Ball Buster
Tait Wines, Barossa, South Australia
Winemaker Bruno Tait's wines epitomize the Barossa style - big, rich and full of flavour – real ball busters, hence the name. The 2006 vintage of the shiraz, cabernet, merlot blend is purple coloured and exhibits a classy bouquet of cedar, earth, tar, espresso, blueberry, blackcurrants, and liquorice. Supple, ripe and soft on the palate.
Mollydooker Carnival of Love
Mollydooker Wines, McLaren Vale
The name Mollydooker is funny enough – it’s Aussie slang for using your left hand – but Carnival of Love? That takes it to a new level. The winemakers say it’s called Carnival of Love because the whole family is involved in making it. Don’t forget to do the Mollydooker shake – pour about 100ml then recap and give the bottle a good shake to release the nitrogen gas added to protect the wine in favour of using sulphites. But taste? Wine Advocate says “this glossy Shiraz has serious depth of flavour, great concentration, excellent integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a pure, silky finish”.
R Wines, Barossa
They say Grenache is a bitch to make and if you read the notes on the back label of R Wines Bitch Grenanche, well ... bitch, bitch, bitch. Wine Advocate says it’s ruby-coloured, and "presents an alluring bouquet of earth, smoke, rhubarb, cherry, and strawberry. Supple, sweet, and tasty”.
Kaesler Vineyard, Barossa
From a block of shiraz planted in 1899, The Bogan represents an unmistakable synergy between Barossa Shiraz and good quality American oak. The 2006 Bogan’s nose is generous, with plums, blueberry and cola. The oak shows quite spicy with a bit of mocha and chocolate on the back palate. Also in the Kaesler stable is The Old Bastard, which comes from a block of shiraz planted in 1893.
Quealy Wine, Mornington Peninsula
Named after the sound of frogs “bonking”. Well, not actually fornicating, but their mating call sounds like “bonk” and when a big group of frogs get together and start “bonking” it sounds like the word “pobblebonk”. Made by Kathleen Quealy of T-Gallant fame, and now winemaker at Balnarring Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, it’s a delicious and unusual blend of pinot grigio, riesling, gewurztraminer and chardonnay.
Stella Bella Wines, Margaret River
A bit of a cult wine, the semillon sauvignon replicates the fine wine Bordeaux wines with fresh, vibrant, citrus flavours intermingled with rick, creamy, nutty oask flavours. They also have a Skuttlebutt range and, of course, the Stella Bella name is just crazy on it’s own. They say the objective of these quirky names is to create wines of expression, personality and interest with an emphasis on unique imaging.
Praxis Osama bin Laden
Inspired by political street art in Melbourne and Hobart featuring Osama bin Laden carrying a ghetto blaster next to a graffiti message reading "all you need is love", winemaker Conor van der Reest says the temporary and contemporary nature of street art suits the drink now ethos of the Praxis label.
Ten is never enough, here are some more that tickled the VisitVineyards.com team's fancy. If you've got more to share (or have tried any of these 10) tell us about them on the wacky wine names forum topic »
- The Stump Jump Riesling (d'Arenberg Wines, McLaren Vale)
- Fly Brook and Wild Fly (Channybearup Wines, Pemberton, WA)
- Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush (Coopers Creek, NZ)
- Slug Gulch (Oak Stone Winery, USA)
- Recession Red (Ross Valley Winery, USA)
From the Winepros Archive: Read about the birth of the (now famous) sisters Suckfizzle (1997) and Stella Bella (2000) »
- Barossa Valley (SA)
- McLaren Vale (SA)
- Hobart (TAS)
- Heathcote (VIC)
- Mornington Peninsula (VIC)
- Strathbogie Ranges (VIC)
- Margaret River (WA)
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