De Long Wine Moment

 

December 21st, 2006

The World’s Most Outrageous Wines 2006

Outrageous Wines 2006

If a wine shouts in the forest does anyone hear it? In the din of the global wine glut only the loudest, boldest, most shameless and outrageous can be heard.

2006′s Most Outrageous Wine will be decided by a poll at the end of this article. If possible, please take a moment out of your busy holiday schedule to vote.

This year’s nominees are:

Diesel Farm Rosso di Rosso 1999

Diesel WineThis is the wine I had mentioned earlier this year in “Carignan, Hipster Wine” Rosso di Rosso is not made from Carignan grapes but instead from an imaginative blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is the brainchild of Diesel founder and denim magnate Renzo Rosso.

We finally laid eyes on a bottle of it this month at a restaurant in London but unfortunately weren’t able to taste it. Actually, it was pretty easy to pass on it at £180 ($360) per bottle especially when the sommelier laughingly described it as “rubbish”. It’s not hard to see how they haven’t sold a single bottle.

But it showed such promise!

From the Fall 2006 London Press Release:
Trendsetting wine with a glass of Diesel
Diesel wine is the latest venture from Renzo Rosso, founder of the Diesel fashion brand. Branching out from the high street to the vineyard, Diesel is a limited and luxurious wine collection, available at a selection of exclusive restaurants. The wine is sourced directly from the Diesel farm, a 100 hectare estate located on the Marostica hills in Vicenza, Italy.

A taste of Italy with Diesel wine in London
Wine lovers and fashion aficionados alike can enjoy a distinctive taste of Italy in London. Diesel wine will be available at Zuma, Roka, The River Cafe and Les Trois Garcons, four of London’s most exclusive restaurants. Only 55 bottles of each wine will be delivered each year and as such, Diesel wine is expected to be highly sought after in London.

Traditional wine with a twist
Diesel wine is produced using traditional, antique craftsman techniques, making for an authentic, rich flavour. However, Diesel offers a contemporary twist to traditional wine and the farm is not only a production centre, but also a location for fashion shoots and parties.

From the label:
… my origins, the land that I love, the rural traditions of my father, the old custom of homemade wine, with his charm and secret touches, together now with the more modern techniques, they have given life to a unique product… (signed “Enjoy”)

The “modern techniques” include hiring renowned consultant Roberto Cipresso who also oversees the production of porn star Savanna Samson’s new wine Sogno Uno. Now there’s a twist on tradition. New Yorkers who would like to see this monumental wine for themselves can do so at Lower East Side Italian Wine Specialist De Vino.

Royal DeMaria 2000 Chardonnay Icewine

DeMaria ChardonnayFormer hairdresser Joseph DeMaria now makes the world’s most expensive wine. His team has devised an ingenous method to out-price the former most expensive wine in the world, Domaine Romannee Conti’s Romannee Conti: simply charge more, much more. As you can see by its bottle – which rivals a Indy Car in sticker density – this wine has won numerous awards, and at $30,000 per 375ml it may just prove a bargain. According to Decanter.com, one bottle has supposedly been sold and winemaker DeMaria adds, ‘As usual I increase the price point as the sales increase. Although the 2000 Chardonnay Icewine is at $30,000 now, I can guarantee that by the last bottle, it will have a price tag of $500,000.’

From the Winery:
In 1998 Joseph DeMaria, having no previous winemaking experience, made his first icewine from a 5000L surplus of Vidal icewine juice. Midway through the process Joseph made a major error in what he understood to be the process of making icewine. Without letting this error set him back Joseph continued working with the icewine and through his blind correction of the error fell upon a wine making technique. The 1998 Vidal Icewine had all the varietal characteristics of a fine wine, the traditional sweetness of an icewine yet did not have the rich, cloying texture within the finish. This first icewine went on to win 5 international awards the ‘error’ has become the wine making technique that Hairdresser turned Winemaker Joseph DeMaria has used successfully ever since.

Sober shoppers may question the price especially since one of the world’s most highly regarded ice wines, the 2001 Hermann Donnhoff Riesling Eiswein Oberhauser Brucke, was rated 100 by Robert Parker and will set you back only about $250.00

Gold

Gold WineThis Wine was featured in a very funny post – What Were They Thinking? – in Fredric Koeppel’s Bigger Than Your Head Blog

In the winery’s own words:

Gold, which was first released in 2005, represents Jason Woodbridge’s quixotic quest to bring the freshest white wine possible to the marketplace. In a creative wine industry first, Woodbridge bottles and releases Gold twice a year: The wine released in July is made from Southern Hemisphere (Australia) grapes, while the wine released in November comes from Northern Hemisphere (California) grapes. Made entirely of un-oaked, non-malolactic Chardonnay (plus a few other aromatic white varietals for aromatics) the wine has been exposed to subfreezing temperatures to preserve mouth feel and aromatics. The stylistically identical wines receive a dosage of pure 24 karat gold before going into a breathtaking modern clear French glass bottle that has been fired with a pure 24 karat gold label.

A French glass bottle? Sidney Frank would be proud except that at $24.99 it’s the least expensive wine in our lineup.

Mike Ditka Kick Ass Red

Kick Ass RedFor those of you who don’t know him, Ditka is the hyper-macho, Brylcreem wearing, not-to-be-messed-with former coach of the Chicago Bears football team. Yes, the alpha male’s alpha male now makes wine.

From the Winery:

“An extravagant, rare and collectible reserve bottling

A Kick Ass wine is outrageously good. I’m personally involved in the selection of all the wines that carry my name, but I spend the most time on this one. I’m looking for a big, brawny red wine, with lots of ripe fruit flavors and a firm grip in the mouth. It needs to be the best possible expression of its growing region, and, of course, it needs to taste great with a good steak. This Mendocino red wine combines the varietals that grow best in that rugged wine-growing area. It’s had extra aging in the best oak barrels, and in the bottle. Since it’s the best, we can’t make much each year. But what we do make kicks ass.”

There you have it. What other wine that claims to be “the best” also offers “a firm grip in the mouth?” Hear’s to Ditka and Da Bears! $49.99 from Mendocino Wine Company.

KISS THIS

Kiss This WineCelebrity Cellars produces collectible wines for celebrities such as Madonna, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and KISS. They’re the Franklin Mint of wine.

From their site:

“KISS THIS” commemorates over 30 years of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band. The artwork is from KISS’s 4th studio album, Destroyer, that was released in 1976.

This Limited Edition Release features a combination etched/paper label on a bottle of 2004 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This product has hand-painted and etched elements surrounding a die cut high quality adhesive applied image.

The bouquet of this wine offers subtle notes of cassis, black cherry, currants and chocolate. Very dark ruby-purple in color, it is a richly textured wine with ripe flavors of sweet cherry, plum and cassis. Slight earthy notes of tobacco, coffee and cedar combine with firm tannins and a subtle framework of oak to complete this delicious wine. Though enjoyable at present, this classic wine has the structure and intensity to improve with aging.

$100 per bottle.

All Celebrity Cellars products come with a written Certificate of Authenticity.”

The Certificate of Authenticity is very helpful in distinguishing fake “KISS THIS” from the real thing but has anyone actually opened a Celebrity Cellars bottle?

“KISS THIS”, ask for it by name!

Vote for The World’s Most Outrageous Wine 2006

The competition is intense this year. Please help us choose a winner. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

{democracy:7}
  • Jerold

    Do you have tasting notes on these wines?

  • Ron

    I think that “Kiss This” and “Kick Ass” should be a blend called “Kick This Kiss Ass”

  • http://wwpress.bogspot.com Wilf Krutzmann

    Royal DeMaria 2000 Chardonnay Icewine outrageous at $30,000? I think of it more as totally absurd. Anyone sucker enough to pay that amount for an Ontario Icewine deserves to be parted from his money. By the way, you haven’t had a good Icewine until you try some of the British Columbia Icewine.The 2006 Icewine harvest has just been completed and appears to be the best vintage yet.

  • http://wwpress.blogspot.com Wilf Krutzmann

    Me again, try me at http://wwpress.blogspot.com to read my entry on Icewines.

  • http://wino-sapien.blogspot.com edward

    Steve,

    As they say you can fool some people. . .

    Wine should be something to be consumed almost every day. It is normal. Normal people drink it.
    Yes there are some extraordinary wines in terms of quality – seek these out. But as you allude to avoid the ones that are extraordinary in terms of bullshit.

    Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.delongwine.com Steve De Long

    Hi Jerold, I don’t have any tasting notes on these wines because — as Edward eloquently puts it — they’re just too extraordinary in terms of bullshit. Also known as poppycock here in the UK. Fredric Koeppel does have a tasting note for Gold on his blog and if anyone has tried anyone of these wines, please post it here.

    Ron, tears are welling up in my eyes. The poetry, the poetry. . . Anyway, they’re both bottled in Mendocino so maybe you’re on to something!

    Thanks for the link Wilf, BC ice wines are excellent. I haven’t tried them side by side with a Niagra but that would make for an interesting if not expensive tasting. Being from the Northwest, I am partial to BC, however. . .

    I would really like to see if they have any takers for the Royal DeMaria at 30 grand. They claim that one sold but has anyone actually seen a receipt?

  • http://www.heathercoulson.com heather

    What an OUTRAGEOUS way to end the year. Your weekly ‘Moments’ get better and better, more interesting and very funny. What a fund of infomation you are – and good on you to educate the novices and wine geeks and show us all a whole new wine world out there.

    Best wishes for happy tasting over the Christmas holidays..Let us all know if there
    are any new ones for our cellar – we have got rid of the undrinkables.

    Merry Christmas!

    Heather

  • http://biggerthanyourhead.net Fredric Koeppel

    Hi, De Long, thanks for the reefer to BTYH. I have to say that I’m happy not to have tried these other products on your hit list. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and here’s hoping for better wines!

  • fred

    Fabulous post. You remain a hero to multitudes, including YT. It was very difficult to pick a winner from above. The producers of Gold and the 30K Ice Wine inspire reconsideration of views on capitol punishment. To be Mike Ditka must be punishment enough.

    A most righteously pontificatious Kwanza on yo big bad self,

    F

  • fred

    “The Franklin Mint of wine”

    Great image!

  • Jeff Grossman

    In a sense, most of these wines are just examples of the craziness of their makers — using celebrity names, bottling things in fives, adding gold flakes. The icewine is the big loser in this contest because the specific tactic of assigning a high price-tag offers not even the palest pretense of providing some kind of extra value.

  • http://www.delongwine.com Steve De Long

    Hi Fred,
    Belated Kwanza wishes to you as well.

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for the comments. The icewine does seem to be a good example of the extreme end of apparent value pricing strategy. I wonder if he ever found a big enough sucker to actually buy a bottle.

  • Kim

    Seems lots of celebrities are jumping on the wine wagon these days,,,even dead ones! I work for a distributor in Indiana, and when someone called asking about the Mike Ditka wine, I laughed out loud. No,,,we don’t have it,,,and won’t. Now if Peyton decided to put his face on a bottle,,,
    Really though, if it gets people in Indiana to drink more wine, it’s all good!
    GO COLTS!

  • CHRIS MAYHER

    HELLO FOLKS. I WAS WONDERING IF THE “KISS THIS” BOTTLE OF CABERNET WAS ONLY RELEASED IN 2004. I HAVE AN UN -OPENED BOTTLE “KISS THIS” DATED 1995. IS THIS LEGIT ? IF SO HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THE BOTTLE IS WORTH. i APPRECIATE YOUR TIME WRITING BACK TO ME. THANKS.

    CHRIS MAYHER

  • Tom E

    I too have the same bottle as Chris mentions above – Celebrity Cellars “Kiss This” 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon. Is there any way to find out how much this bottle is worth? It’s unopened and in mint condition. Thanks.

  • ken m

    I also have a unopened 1995 “Kiss This” Cabernet Sauvigon in mint condition. It has been kept in a wine celler for 13 yrs.

  • Robert Loblaw

    Royal DeMaria 2000 Chardonnayicewine is now selling for $250.000.00.
    Go to Youtube and type in “cnnicewine”
    Joesph DeMaria has become a joke in the Niagara Region Winery of Ontario, Canada.