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Friday, 25 October 2013

Vinteloper: a New Identity and New Releases

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a gathering in Brisbane's New Farm Park for the launch of two new wines, and the reveal of a new visual identity, from winemaker David Bowley of Vinteloper Wines.

Opting to go the way of the trend of creating a version of a word minus its vowels, the new identity is bold, punchy and starkly simple. Losing the former flourishes of the Vinteloper logo, the end result is akin to paring back the label to enable a better look at what's underneath.

The public had a little insight into the direction that the new visual identity might take with the release of David's 2012 Urban Winery Project Grenache (review here). That label, as with the newly released R1 2013 Watervale Riesling and 2013 PG Fleurieu Pinot Gris were designed by David's "future wife" - as he charmingly refers to her - Sharon Hong.

A member of the medical profession, and clearly a talented artist, I asked David if he had given Sharon a brief: "deliberately not, I wanted her interpretation of the wines to be represented in the design".

It could be said that David himself has always possessed an artistic mien. In 2011 he released his two Riesling (Watervale and Odeon) to wine critics with an accompanying release, drawing the distinction between the two under the heading Art (the Odeon) vs Science (the Watervale). The brand extension has also been taken further in the past with the released of Vinteloper skateboards. Innovation? Perhaps.

Not being an art critic, I best describe the new label's style as line drawings with watercolour overlaid. To me they draw some inspiration from 1960s artwork, with strong visual imagery and a mix of bold colours and some pastels. But I suggest that is one of the great things about art, for as with wine their appeal and interpretation is a very personal thing.

2013 R1 Watervale Riesling - $26, 11%, Screwcap
David's 'standard' Watervale Riesling, rebadged as the R1 (to denote it from the Odeon, or R2 as it may be?).

Exhibits the florals and possess the elegance that one often sees in wine's of the region. Pretty with some 'Asian' influence via jasmine, blossom and the citrus aromatics.

Strikes a balance between tightness and approach-ability  One thing is for sure, refreshment is guaranteed.

2013 PG Fleurieu Pinot Gris - $26, 13%, Screwcap
Showing the barest hint of colour, a slight hint of a peachy hue. Opens with a musky aroma, to taste sees a wine that's richly textured. 

Hints of mineral; generously layered finish. A touch "dirty" as one of my fellow attendees put it. This is a good Gris. 

Aside from the artist's medical background, make what you will of the ribcage design on the label.

The Future
David was fairly forthright, he announced that he would no longer be making a Sauvignon Blanc. Not that he didn't want to, rather the decision was more pragmatic in that he saw that particular market as sufficiently crowded already, that he felt his efforts were best directed elsewhere. Expect to see the extension of the new identity as new vintages come on board, expect to see new varieties being explored and played. David seems a man enjoying his craft.

Keep an eye out for more from this pretty exciting brand.
Tasted on: Sunday 29th September, a Leaf Day
Source: Winemaker Hosted Tasting
Price: R1 $26 and PG $26
Alcohol: R1 %11 and PG %13
Closure: Screwcap

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