Woaaah...this label is so brash you almost need sunglasses to tone it down. Washington state's The Magnificent Wine Company's labels are all similar to this one, and certainly catch the eye, but is it a marketing hoax or is the wine any good? Well, the Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley 2006 is actually pretty darn good. Stinky old barnyard nose. Light to medium bodied, very smooth, burnt cherry fruit with a herbaceous edge and nice loooong finish. Great sipper. Wow. Not cheap up here at about $30, but if you like pinot, it's worth a whirl.
A different marketing ploy is adding a tag to the wine touting it's media merits - such as with the Delas, St.Esprit, Cotes du Rhone, 2007. The 2005-2007 Rhone vintages have been quite good, even the lower level generic wines are very drinkable. Robert Parker seems to have liked this wine back in 2008 giving it his magical "90" score, and the producer is not shy to show this mark off. The wine is somewhat light in the glass (7/10), and has a quite strong white chalk board nose. Medium bodied, strawberries, pepper and a little spice. It's a pleasant wine, but with no real structure, no appreciable tannins and a poor finish. "OK" wine, not worth seeking out. $18. Lose the tag, guys.
The Elderton, Ode to Lorraine, Barossa, 2006 is surprisingly light in colour (8/10) for a Barossa wine. Medium-full bodied, it is on the elegant side - no big joosy fruit bomb here. Could almost be mistaken for a new style Bordeaux. Balanced with very easy to handle tannins, as it airs out there are hints of caramilk smoothness. Good dinner wine. Not quite a "wow", but close. $40 is a bit steep for this wine.