Women purchase 80% of the wine sold in the United States. And they purchase 75% of it in grocery stores. *
Thus, link for wineries, cialis grocery stores are a battleground for shelf space; with electric pink price tags, critic’s points, funny label verbiage, and intricate box stacking patterns all being the ammo. Wineries can buy an end cap – that large space at the end of two isles – or take a cue from beer producers and create lots of different packages for the same product to gain territory. But, as it turns out, the best way to increase a wine’s market share is to put an animal on the label.
That’s right, an animal.
In the industry they’re called “critter” labels. It doesn’t matter what kind of critter: kangaroos started it, but dogs, cats, birds, frogs, penguins, mythical creatures and now even the occasional cake all increase sales with that all important grocery store audience – and usually by at least 50%.
It was Australians who first drew the lines between these dots, making intensely fruit driven wines showcasing an animal on the label. And while these wines were once a run-away smash hit, now the one-trick-pony has ceased to be interesting, and Australia’s wine industry is suffering for it.
It’s not that animals are bad, or even picturing an animal on the label is bad. If O’Reilly the dog helped make the wine, why not put him on the label? If Morris the cat was present at the first crush and continues to sleep on the fax machine maybe he is a pertinent symbol of sales activity.
But as the gag of critter labels wears thin it exposes a raw truth about these wines: the wine itself, not just the label, was made in committee, by the marketing department. And just like dogs and cats, committees and marketing departments aren’t fundamentally bad. They just shouldn’t be making wine.
Generation X-ers and Millennials now make up the largest segment of US wine consumption and they don’t drink critter wine. Unfortunately for Australians critter labels were so successful in previous generations of US drinkers that the identity is now stuck: Australia = critter = standardized wine. And this does a disservice to Australia, a country whose wine production is as diverse as its geography.
Australia is as large as the Continental United States and while we would never confuse New York State Riesling with Napa Cabernet, or Santa Barbara Pinot Noir with Washington State Merlot, or a 5 gallon cardboard box wine from the Central Valley with Screaming Eagle; Australia remains as blurry as a jumping kangaroo.
But there is Australian wine crafted by families, farmed with love, and produced with the idea of demonstrating all that is great about Aussie terroir. Kilikanoon is one such small producer.
Based in Clare Valley, north of Barossa in the district of South Australia, Kilikanoon creates Shiraz that displays the best of Australia. Rich in Aussie fruit character, Killerman’s Run Shiraz features flavors of blackberry and brambly fruits. Barrel aged spice notes of caramelized sugar, cedar, cinnamon and cloves add in a layer of complexity. The Shiraz is based on a core vineyard within the Watervale district of Clare Valley that is unique in its iron-rich, red loam soils. Here the soil adds a ripe red fruit character to the nose which is backed up by Grenache. On the palate these two give the wine a lively sense of structure, complimenting and supporting its primary fruit tastes. Bold and rich on the first day, by the second it sheds some baby fat revealing a seductive, complex Shiraz with fruit still as its primary focus but sous bois, earthiness, and a sense of place elevating the wine.
Gracing the label is a wood block painting by famous Australian painter Murray Edwards. At Kilikanoon it’s all about the wine, not the critter.
2007 Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Shiraz
Suggested List Price: $19.99
Special price via this email: $9.99