I mean, who doesn’t want to be love drunk? Even if that’s not your current situation, this wine will at least you give hope that the concept is real. Not to mention, if you are familiar with this blog, you know I am an unashamed label lover, and I am as in love with this label as I am with the wine.
I have a theory that is contrary to most educated wine professionals, and that is that truly amazing labels are almost always an indication of amazing wine. Most winemakers put a lot of thought and effort into their labels, it’s the one’s that don’t that you should avoid. This is a wine that supports my theory.
It would be tempting to pick up this bottle based on the label alone, and you wouldn’t be sorry if you did. Don’t let anyone shame you on your label game.
The label was created by the winemaker and owner of Maison Noir Wines himself. Inspired by street art, hip hop, punk, and skater cultures, the result is vivid black and white artwork that grabs your attention, and also makes the wines seem very approachable.
In keeping with a subculture theme, the labels reference “garage d’or” a play on one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world (Cote d’or in Burgundy), and a movement referred to as “garage wine” which embraces the idea that great wines can be made while bucking traditional rules of any given region. The term garage wine can also refer to wine makers who produce an incredibly small amount of wine from specific sites. Both of these terms seem to fit the MO of Maison Noir.
The Maison Noir logo is a black sheep – mouton noir in French – and owner and winemaker, André Mack considers himself a mouton noir in the wine industry. The moniker fits not only because he is one of a remarkably low number of black wine makers, but because he likes to do things differently, and yet exceed traditional results. The wines are unpretentious, both in approach and price point, but make no mistake, they are excellent.
A beautiful wine, with a beautiful label, at a price point that doesn’t require me to plan for the purchase. That’s a trifecta in my book.
Maison Noir includes a graphic arts division that sells t-shirts with rifs on wine related terms. This is one of my favorites – absolutely genius in helping with the pronunciation of the Cahors wine region, and also hilarious. It turns out, that between his awesome labels, and the t-shirts, his artistic and creative abilities did not go unnoticed. So good at graphic art and design, he launched an entirely separate business called Get Fraîche Cru – always with the wine references.
Founded in Oregon, in 2007, Maison Noir is the result of following your heart, even when your head is making a pretty good argument. Andre Mack was having a successful corporate career, but he left his desk job to follow a passion for wine. It proved to be a good decision. In 2003 he was designated the Best Young Sommelier in America, the first African American to receive the honor. And that was just the beginning. Fast forward 17 years, and wines that he originally created to be served in the prestigious restaurants he worked in, have garnered many accolades and national distribution. Oh, and his an author, check out his book – 99 Bottles: A Black Sheep’s Guide to Life Changing Wine.
So let’s taste the wine.
Maison Noir|Love Drunk Rose|2019|13.1% ABV|$19.99
I really can’t beat the description offered by André Mack himself, so why try?
Love Drunk is an intoxicating rose. Much like new love, it clouds the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise, and lips to pucker. Provocative aromas of strawberry and raspberry, followed by refreshing flavors of wild strawberry, watermelon rind, and a hint of kiwi.
Love Drunk Rosé is made from 77% Chardonnay and 23% Pinot Noir sourced from one of Oregon’s oldest vineyards, Hyland vineyard in, the McMinville AVA. It is super interesting to me that the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and made separately and then blended to form this wine. Outside of Champagne, this is not a common practice for Rosé.
The wine is a beautiful pale, translucent, salmon color. It is medium bodied and fresh. I paired this wine with goat cheese, with salmon, and with an olive medley, and they were all great pairings. Another reasons to love Rosé is that it goes well with so many foods, and yet is perfectly delightful all by itself. A lovely summer sip, whether you are in love or not, this wine will give you some feels.
At this point, Maison Noir does not have a physical location, but I can’t help but think that a Maison Noir tasting room would be one of the coolest vibes to sip some wine at. Just wishful thinking on my part, but you never know ….
Not to keep gushing about the label, but it also says “When Reality is Better Than Your Dreams!” – here’s hoping everyone feels that at some point. Cheers to something or someone having you love drunk.