Posted on July 4th, 2011
Kangaroos, lizards, goats, cats, dogs, frogs, bulls, horses, rabbits and other critters have been used on wine bottles labels for quite a while now. None is more famous is the Yellow Tail ‘roo.
While they may not have been the first, Yellow Tail are certainly the poster child for critter labels.
What made the critters take off in the first place? A simple enough formula of an easily recognisable and distinguishable label. And now they’re everywhere.
The phenomenon has reached such proportions that it reminds me of the high visibility illuminous bottles of detergent in supermarkets. If they all stand out, none of them do.
Despite that, 3 classy critters came across my desk recently. All three are from La Granja, a producer from Cariñena in Spain.
While the labels are cute, they’re also classy. I’m a sucker for such things. It’s not the be all, just enough to get the bottle off the shelve and into the consumer’s hands. Thereafter the wine itself dictates whether the customer will come back for more.
The La Granja critters are:
1. The Zebra (La Granja 360º, Garnacha-Tempranillo) – €8.99
Nice brambly fruit, soft mid palate. Worked very well with the meatfest/BBQ over the weekend.
2. The Pig (La Granja 360º Tempranillo) – €7.99
My favourite of the bunch, quite like a good Rioja Crianza, or at a stretch a Riserva, but at half the price, which is quite nice. Lovely fruit, medium bodied.
3. The Chicken (La Granja 360º Syrah) – €8.99
More juicy goodness, this time from Syrah. A little textbook spice, and another stunner.
What’s interesting about these three wines that they’re not on your supermarket mid shelf, like most other critters. Rather, they’re offered by select independents – but at ridiculously competitive prices. Oh, the quality thing too – for me, at €8-9 they are the best quality you can get anywhere.
From 4 great independent wine shops: