28 August 2014

2012 Matchbook The Arsonist

I love this label design, though it pains me that it might be misunderstood. The winery does not endorse arson, but rather their concept is an homage to the Titan Prometheus who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to humanity, allowing them to begin forging metal and, more importantly, enjoying a weekend barbecue.

If I had a wine label with a guy missing one hand and I only sold that wine on a Tuesday, most people would think me to be insane but a select few would know that the Norse god Týr lost his hand to the Fenris wolf, and the English name for Tuesday is named in his honor. The Latin days of the week are all named after the celestial bodies (and their related gods and goddesses), while the Germanic-Scandinavian convention preserves a few of the stars and planets while adding Teutonic Gods. So everybody is cool with Sunday being the sun day and Monday being the moon day, but Wednesday is Odin's day up north and Mercury's day down south. Thursday is Thor's day or Jupiter's day. Friday belongs to Freya or Venus. Saturday is complicated (mostly focused on Saturn, adapted from Cronus), and rolling back to Tuesday, in southern Europe the name comes from Mars.

Back to the label, I really appreciate the neat linework and clever design. It continues on the back, where the top of the UPC barcode has little flames. You should never buy a wine based on the label alone, but you should always celebrate a decent wine that happens to display an appreciation of design theory.

2012 Matchbook The Arsonist
98% Matchbook Vineyards, Dunnigan Hills; 2% Aquarius Vineyard, Russian River Valley
100% Chardonnay
$22, 14.3% abv.

Ripe and peachy with a bold body and a round mouthfeel. Balanced acidity and a gentle finish. As it warms, you get light touches of vanilla and oak on the nose. Yes, it's summer here in Memphis and I proudly enjoyed this wine with fried chicken, which was delicious. As the season winds down, consider this for your picnics and other informal gatherings where you want a crowd pleaser that will go great with casual fare.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.

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