Second labels are hot right now. They are one way for a winery, who might be struggling with the economy, to use some of their juice and develop a lower price point wine. or they might just be a way for the winemakers to have a little fun with their wine.
Pétanque wines are made by Michel-Schlumberger, a leader in California premium wines, specifically for enjoying BBQ season, picnics, and Pétanque, the French game of lawn bowling. recently, I had the chance to attend their opening party at Michel-Schlumberger, where the wines were being poured, the balls were being thrown, and band was swinging. for $25, we got to eat the yummy food, dance with the Brother Cat Band, and drink all the wine we could! In fact, Judd kept coming around to refill our glasses. Probably to keep us, the riff-raff out of the rest of the crowd 😉
At the party, I was able to taste the line up of affordable, easy drinking quaffers that are value priced between $12.95 and $16.95 At these prices, you can enjoy a bottle every night! part of the fun of these wines, is that we were outside in the garden, drinking from tumblers instead of glasses, and playing with balls as we drank and danced all afternoon long. What a fun day!
First, I tasted the 2007 Sav Blanc. On a warm spring day in Dry Creek, this hit the spot. The grapes for this citrus driven white were from Paso Robles, and it was aged in stainless steel It’s a nicely balanced low alcohol wine at 13.^%.
Next, even though I generally run screaming from Chardonnay, I had to give this one a try. Most because my friend Judd was pouring it, but hey, what the hell this is actually an unoaked chard, which made me smile. I am not a huge chardy fan, and this was was decent, even if it wasn’t my favorite.
My favorite of the lineup, and the one I drank all afternoon over and over, was the 2006 Syrah. It was a big soft syrah, that came from right there in Dry Creek Valley. It was very easy to drink and I did. A lot! I wasn’t really taking notes, but I just remember this was a fantastic BBQ wine.
Next, came the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. This came from the Sierra Foothills, and I was surprised about that since I don’t generally associated that area with Cab. It was ok, but not really my cup of tea. I found it too woody.
The moral of this story is, if you find a winery that makes a second label, and you really enjoy their first, give it a shot! There are great values out there and you might just have some fun trying them! I’m big on the budget wines, and while I appreciate a special bottle and drink lots of that too, I love that there are tasting treats out there that are prime priced for a party.