Maker: Juno Wine Company, Paarl, South Africa
Varietal: Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot blend
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Juno Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2005 features another of Juno’s gorgeous labels – the call these wines their “Cape Maidens” series. The wine itself is what one might expect from a blend of these grapes. The composition is Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Shiraz (30%), and Merlot (20%). This blend has a ripe berry nose, a medium body, and a nicely rounded blackberry and plum flavor with a bit of spice in the finish. We like this wine both for its attractive package and its accessible flavor. It would be nice for entertaining or a $10-range hostess gift.
The Cape Maiden illustrations are the work of artist Tertia du Toit. According to the Juno Wine website,
She paints a picture of the atmosphere of the wine, the taste and the aroma. The girls are part of exhibitions, a collection of paintings that dance around the idea of womanhood. Her paintings focuses on the female figure, milkmaids and Madonna’s, an abundance of life’s pleasures. With the strong colours and dramatic poses she invites whoever dares, ‘to indulge’.
The aim with the labels is to create an integrated visual meeting between the predominantly male winemaking traditions and the sensual nature of the wine itself. The eventual idea with the usage of the Maidens is not to objectify them but rather to turn them into super heroines
An Art in South Africa website comments on du Toit’s work, “‘ One need not be a detective or a Freudian or Jungian analyst, to be aware of a strong element of eroticism in these works.” Well, I suppose wine has always been related to harvests, fertility, and the like… However you interpret the labels, they are indeed lush and enticing on the shelf. Juno made a good choice in signing du Toit if they want to gain a bit of extra attention as wine buyers scan rows of mostly boring bottles.