Maker: Juno Wine Company, Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
These days, lots of winemakers are trying to craft a label that gets their bottle a second glance on the crowded wine shelves. Juno Shiraz 2004 has such a label – a gorgeous color label featuring an Art Nouveau-inspired “Cape Maiden”. On a shelf of bland appelation names and cute critters, Juno’s bottles stand out. Fortunately, their Shiraz stands out, too. The nose is an aromatic blend of spice and berries. The flavor mixes intense and juicy red fruit with noticeable tannins, leading into a black pepper finish.
The Wine Diva was a bit less enthusiastic: “Unfortunately, the lovely label dawned with a ‘Juno Cape Maiden’ did little to distract from the uneventful tannic taste. I didn’t enjoy it but I did try… I kept taking little sips, waiting for the ripe and fruity aromas to reveal themselves; but all I found was the peppery finish.” Perhaps we had some sample variation, or a bit of agitation on the way over to the US did some good.
The wine labels, all Juno Cape Maidens, are so stunning that they are available as art prints on paper or canvas. They can be ordered from the Juno Wines website, although the process looks a bit cumbersome. We think Juno wines, or at least this Shiraz since it’s the first one we’ve tasted, would make a fine hostess gift if the price range suits your needs. It’s combination of an artistic label and fine aroma and flavor will make it stand out amongst blander choices. You may be inclined to keep it yourself, though.