Coppola Winery revealed three new wine labels today. Granted, not especially remarkable news. This happens all the time. Wineries partner with an artist and produce something intriguing, something artful and colorful designed to grab our attention. But what made this email stand-out from the pack is that the labels feature artistic renditions of three classic — “exceptional” — movies:
King Kong (1933)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The film-themed labeled are part of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Director’s Collection” which have been around for years, and have typically employed catchy and/or unique label design of some sort. This particular set is entitled “Director’s Great Movies” and includes a 2015 Chardonnay, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2014 Merlot.
Coppola says in the email that he first met the artist Laurent Durieux when he was approached with a poster he had created for a Godfather film. “I immediately saw the passion in his artwork and thought his posters would transform into great wine labels for my Director’s wines, giving the brand a more vibrant and recognizable movie tie-in.”
I like the three picks–Jaws, King Kong, The Wizard of Oz. Classics, definitely. Though I might swap King Kong for something from the German expressionist period (one of my favorites) such as the best vampire adaptation of all, Nosferatu (1922). How would that be for a conversation starter at your next dinner party?
A trio of film-themed wine labels. Artwork by Laurent Durieux. Wines by Corey Beck.
- JAWS – A 2015 Chardonnay featuring flavors of ripe tropical pineapple, aromatic Meyer lemon, a warm toasted oak finish, distinctive floral oak spice and classic Chardonnay minerality. JAWS is a dual appellation of 65% Sonoma County and 35% Monterey County. SRP $21
- KING KONG – A 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon with serious blackberry flavor and forward tannin structure with warm cedar spice in the aroma and inviting flavors of foraged wild berries and toasted marshmallow. There’s a creamy toffee on the palate including black hibiscus tea. KING KONG is a dual appellation of 73% Sonoma County and 27% San Luis County. SRP $24
- THE WIZARD OF OZ – A 2014 vintage Merlot with forward black plum and dark tobacco, dark chocolate covered açaí berry and exotic oak spices. Juicy ripe plum and blackberry are noticeable on the palate of this dual appellation varietal from 68% Sonoma County and 32% Monterey County. SRP $24
Source: Francis Ford Coppola Winery
So are these wine labels kitsch? Or cool?
Or, maybe, a bit of both?
Like a lot of us, I’ve always been drawn to a wine label. It is, after all, part of the story. Typically, though, I believe a super fancy, or over-the-top artsy label may be a red flag of sorts. If the wine can’t sell itself, turning to marketing and artistic labels surely indicates that the product may not necessarily be of the best quality? Not necessarily true. But a feeling I sometimes get when scanning the wine wall at the local store.
Winemaking and filmmaking are two great art forms … In both cases you have to start with top notch raw materials — whether it’s the land or a script.
– Francis Ford Coppola
What might be even cooler is if Coppola were to create a trio of labels based on his own films. In reality probably too self-serving. But if I were to choose the three, it would include:
The Godfather (1972) – cinema’s best.
Apocalypse Now (1979) – between this epic film and Werner Herzog’s impossible Fitzcarraldo (1982), proof that true art can emerge from the most difficult (and bizarre) of sets.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Keanu Reeves with nude vampires… on a wine label.
The say you should never judge a book by its cover. Probably true for wines too.
Nevertheless, who said we couldn’t have fun every now and then?
It may be silly. Even blasphemous to serious oenophiles who prefer their labels to feature large, serious scripted fonts. But what the heck, I might just have to pick up some of these. Film, art and Sonoma wine. Retro-futuristic chic. All sounds good to me.