DeLoach Vineyards: Boisset Rising


Last week, I had the opportunity to have lunch with the irrepressible Jean-Charles Boisset, the French owner of many wine companies worldwide. In California, he owns Deloach Vineyards, the venerable Russian River produce; we met at the winery. J-C is doing many interesting things, including changing the entire style of Deloach's Pinots and Chardonnays to a style much more subtle and French than most of what you'll find in California. It's a bold move, but the wines--given their price and their market penetration in supermarkets--have the potential to really help turn the tide for more tasteful and elegant California wines (especially in the Chardonnay department). Bravo.

But one of the most eye-catching of his new releases is the Beaujolais bottling from his Burgundian house Mommessin. Soon to be on the market, the wine comes in a striking aluminum bottle, which Boisset says is more environmental (easier to recycle), chills down faster than a glass bottle and also holds its chill longer. In addition, it has a patented Cooldot (TM) sticker on it that says "chill me," which like the new Coors beer bottles changes color when it hits the proper temperature. The Mommessin goes from blue to green. (Of course, my Cole Valley apartment is so cool that the wine doesn't need to sit in a refrigerator for the label to turn blue.) The wine inside is red, fruity and eminently refreshing and food-friendly.

I wholeheartedly approve of this product, though one woman I know objected to the Sex in the City-style fashionista with the lapdog on the label, saying that the wine didn't have to be packaged so blatantly for the woman's market. Will this brazen symbolism discourage men? Perhaps some, but not me.

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