Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Cheers & Jeers


  • Bonny Doon - great value wines, going against the trend, humor, satire, having the balls to make wine "fun"
  • Kendall-Jackson - for success in bringing in more consumers through subtle modification of their wines over time ("palate brainwashing")
  • Rosenblum - great value zins, doing all they can to save threatened old-vine-zin vineyards in the East Bay from developers
  • Marietta - successfully going against the grain by making primarily a blend (not a single varietal) and offering it for a reasonable price
  • David Cofarro - Keeping prices reasonable, making great blends, staying true without selling out and increasing production.
  • Bogle  -  Fighting the good fight at under $10.  Not many independent, family-owned wineries can play there anymore, especially while increasing sales at 20% over last year.


  • Robert Mondavi - for continuing to sell out the flagship brand through low-end plonk.  Overheard: " you mean Mondavi makes Napa wine?  I thought they just made Woodbridge".  Also for the Papio brand, some of the worst labels and a horrible brand name.
  • Southcorp -  for nearly ruining many hugely successful Australian brands by completely destroying their UK business and missing the boat while [yellow tail] kicks their ass in the US ("where'd those 7 million cases come from?")
  • Franzia - for his Napa Ridge brand and his argument that "you don't expect French toast to come from France do you?"
  • Jim Laube and the Wine Spectator - for publicly "outing" BV's TCA problem and severely punishing their sales in the marketplace.  Such a problem could have been handled diplomatically (not publicly) with much less severe repercussions.
  • CK Mondavi / Krug -  for continuing to make the same tired wines and taking up space in Napa that could be better used by a younger, more dynamic company with vision.  Also for continuing to trade off the name with their "family" slogans...cheap...cheap....cheap.


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