One thing about Bernie Hadley Beauregard: you never know what the guy’s going to come up with next!
Hadley Beauregard, of Blasted Church, Therapy Vineyards (Freudian Sip), Dirty Laundry (and a host of other labels/brands) fame, looks set to repeat the kind of off-the-chart success registered by Moon Curser with his latest, even cheekier endeavour.
Remember Moon Curser—the gaudy bottle design that everyone loved to hate: it’s become arguably one of the most recognizable bottles both at home here in BC or anywhere. And to make so much sense out of such a nonsensical name? Then again, the wines also deliver. And that is the crux of the issue.
BHB’s latest effort (through Brandever Marketing) is a project for the Okanagan’s Church & State wines. It’s a deliberately provocative undertaking that pushes the boundaries of taste for various people in different ways. Different strokes for different folks indeed!
#LostInhibitions: the Plan
Church & State say they asked themselves: “What would be possible if we lost all of our inhibitions, if we checked any pre-conceived notions about wine and traditional blends at the door, and set out to create a truly spectacular wine that flooded all of the senses? We wanted our white blend to have great personality, beautiful aroma complexity, supremely intense flavours, and a huge mouthfeel.”
Well, that’s a fairly significant whack of hyperbole on which to deliver. But the “Lost Inhibitions” white blend which I tasted—that just happens to be called THIS IS EFFING EPIC certainly comes up with the goods.
This is a bit of a classic “cocktail” blend (of 35.18% Viognier, 19.7% Gewurztraminer, 16.83% Sauv Blanc, 16.36% Chardonnay, 7.3% Riesling, 3.05% Orange Muscat, 1.58% Roussanne). Now, if you saw that on a wine label, You might be tempted to see yourself “what were they thinking–or smoking?” And move on to the next label.
Enter the boundless imagination of Mr Beauregard and his cohorts, who realised that, sometimes, the best thing is to say as little as possible about the wine, as long as you can reach your intended audience in a way that most appeals to them.
These labels are nothing if not deliberately edgy, excessively cheeky and above all generationally distinctive. To conservative wine drinkers and stick-in-the-mud, older cork dorks, the very notion of something as in your face as “CARPE DIEM BITCHES” on a wine label might be just a wee bit too much to swallow—even on a good day.
All you have to do is to tune in to social media – #lostinhibitions – to witness the instant success, wrapped in an exuberant, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter fuelled firestorm of activity to know that these new labels have hit their mark with absolute laser precision.
No mention of price, blend or anything: the names alone (from “CLASSY, SASSY, SMART-ASSY” to “YOU’RE SO F*UCKING CLASSY”… and seemingly more) had some people running to find them.
#LostInhibitions in the bottle
As for the wines themselves, they actually do stand up to scrutiny.
Lost Inhibitions White 2014 sports aromas of apple and pear, followed by a surprisingly full-bodied palate, with hints of citrus, peach-nectarine from the Viognier and even some rose petal from the Gewurz, all wrapped in mouth watering acidity. 90 pts. $18-$20.
Lost Inhibitions Red 2013, an approachable blend (51.7% Merlot, 30.6% Cab Franc, 13.6% Malbec, 4.1% Petit Verdot ) has black fruit jumping out of the glass, before a palate that just manages to steer clear of the overtly commercial sweet style, but does revel in unabashed sweet black fruit flavours, with mocha tones, easy tannins and good length. 89 pts. $20-$22
I also couldn’t help but chuckle at the tag-line: “At Church & State we let our wines speak for themselves, even if they’re a bit mouthy…”
For some reason, it had me thinking of CedarCreek—but in a good way.