Artisan Wine Company2005 Rigamarole Red
British Columbia’s newest entry in the critter label derby, the Rigamarole brand has caused something of a stir, both inside the industry and with consumers. The wine is attributed to a winery that doesn’t physically exist – Rigamarole Winery, C/O Artisan Wine Co. in Oliver, B.C. In fact, it is made for (and almost certainly by) the Mission Hill winery. Mission Hill has a track record for making provocative brands that bring new consumers into the market. A few years ago, it authored a brand called Rotting Grape that was all the rage with the 20-somethings.
The concept is expressed thus by the producer: “Why is it always such a big Rigamarole to simply find a great drinking red?” And the wine comes with three different labels. One shows an elephant, another a dancing rhinoceros and the third gibra. The latter also does not exist physically but might if a giraffe and a zebra could mate.
So what about the wine? A very agreeable quaffer with soft tannins, flavours of cherries and raspberries and lots of white pepper, from the aroma right through to the finish. 86 points.
I awarded an equal score to its stable mate, Rigamarole White 2006, a refreshing and fruity summer white, also selling for $15.99.
Reviewed September 1, 2007 by John Schreiner.
John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.