Fri 8 Dec 2006
At the risk of lulling you into slack-jawed insensibility, I have to quote the text on the front on a bottle of Gold, which is, by the way, very difficult to read:
“In the ancient world, rulers of kingdoms long lost and some still part of current memory made wine and mined gold.Their armies fought to keep it and ranged over the earth to obtain it. Legends stretched across the millennia, steeped in mystery and religion. Tales of kings living for generations, ancient tribal leaders speaking of battles they fought hundreds of years before, the holy grail, knights templar, women wise and young, all of their non-believing friends old and gone forever. Their secret … was kept hidden by open display. Sprinkling gold into their freshest white wine they drank to their health, happiness and long lives. This they did with a pure heart, over the very heights of summer and the depths of winter needing to believe that summer would come again. Summer is a time of legend, so let us embrace the golden sun that makes this wine, warms our bodies and hearts. Have fun my friends and be good to each other … 999.9 Pure.”
100 percent pure bullshit, more like. I mean, really, to whom is this exercise in oratory, like something written by Dan Brown with Tolkien and Madame Blavatsky looking over his shoulder, intended to appeal? Certainly not to intelligent wine consumers. Nor will the wine, which is white with real 24K gold leaf sprinkled in it and for all the hype and complicated back-story actually pretty damned boring, though it costs $20 a bottle.
Nothing on the bottle indicates a vintage — it says “Bottled in June, 2006″ on the back — nor are we informed about a region or appellation, only the words “Product of Australia,” or a grape. The wine, we are informed, is bottled by Gold in St. Helena, Ca., but imported by Angels’ Share in Brooklyn.
A letter from Jason Woodbridge, the “proprietor” of Gold, explains that he likes “making wines that break the rules.” He does say that the wine is made primarily from chardonnay with “other varietals that are also aromatic, and rich on their own and beautiful in combination.” The wine is shipped from the “Southern Hemisphere” “in an ocean-going freezer container while still on the lees at 25 degrees.”
Boy, that’s a lot of effort to produce a wine that smells vaguely floral, tastes generically citrusy and sports a modest texture and a bit of bitterness on the finish. I tasted two bottles with similar results.
This whole project reeks of over-determined marketing, shaky syntax and bad faith. Leave the pseudo-mysticism to the pseudo mystics and the winemaking to real winemakers. All that glitters is not Gold.