Wine and Art – A Great Combination

Wine and art are a great combination for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, wine is one of my passions and my wife is by passion and schooling an artist (she got her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and photography). Second, wine is a work of art in itself, a delicious liquid that walks a fine line between art, science, and Mother Nature.

Imagery Estates Winery, which is in the Sonoma Valley just outside of Glen Ellen, took wine and art to a new level. If you read this blog you know that Megan and I are members of the Imagery wine club and get their wine 4 times a year. After drinking their Malbec recently, which is one of the wines in their artist collection, I decided that I should post not only about the wine, but about how Imagery marries wine and art perfectly. Labels for the Imagery Artist Collection wines are produced from artwork commissioned from among the world’s most notable contemporary artists. The original one-of-a-kind works of art are the property of Imagery Estate Winery. The collection, currently numbering 190, is on permanent display at the winery’s on-site gallery.

Not all of the wines that come from Imagery are part of the artist series, but a good percentage of the wine club deliveries bear a one of a kind, artist designed label. Here are some of the ones that we have gotten in the past 2 years.

The only requirement is that the art contain the Imagery symbol of a Pantheon. Some labels are easier than others to see the Pantheon design but sometimes finding them is part of the fun. All the labels have full scale paintings for sale and are on display in the Imagery Tasting room, providing an excellent backdrop to their hand crafted wines.

The 2004 Malbec is from vines grown in Lake County. After harvest the grapes were fermented for 28 days using a pumpover method before the wine was put into French Oak barrels for 20 months. This wine was bottled in June of 06 and came in our September 2007 shipment.

My Tasting Notes –

Nose – Candied pecans, clove, blackberry, Nestle Quick, Ketchup and after about 45 minutes of being open I got espresso

Taste – Fig, molasses, thyme, blackberry, passion fruit

Mouthfeel – Nice dry, dusty mouthfeel with medium body and nice noticeable acidity

Finish – Long with lingering strawberry and black pepper

This was an excellent Malbec, very similar to ones that I have had from Argentina. This California version was slightly softer but with the same fruit levels and profiles, although it seems to me that I get more leather or suede notes on the nose of the Argentinean ones. I need to go back through some tasting notes to verify that, because I could be making it up. 🙂

If you are in the Sonoma Valley doing some wine tasting make sure that Imagery is one of your stops, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.


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Categories: art, Imagery Estate, labels, wine review, wine tourism | Leave a comment

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