Brand matters. The quality of the product, its price and how it is represented to the public - when bundled up equals brand. Think about the great brands: Coke-a-Cola, Apple, Disney and Caterpillar: each has a well-defined brand image which they closely control to ensure a consistent unambiguous message to the consumer. A good brand is easily identified. So too is a less
than good brand.
So. Why a short discussion about "brand" when this is a blog site about wine? Well, the answer to that can be found in the labeling of the 2005 Eagle Eye, Muscat Canelli. This is not the label of a serious winery and it send entirely the wrong message to the buying public. In a competitive wine market the last thing a wine producer wants is to be is above average in price and below average in brand.
My impressions: Flowers perfume the nose. Overwhelming - pleasantly so - dose of lychee with a moderate finish. Nicely balanced for a Muscat. My immediate though when sipping the wine was that it would be great with hot Thai or Indian curries. This is far-and-away the most appealing Muscat I've ever enjoyed and not just for sipping poolside. Recommended.
Second thoughts: Of course, wine labeling does not need to be overly serious. Australian critter wines have proven that a light-hearted take on wine can be successful. But in those cases, the wines were aimed squarely at the younger wine buyers for whom the playfulness of the brand was an asset.
Eagle Eye makes some fine wine. I was impressed with this Muscat and have also been impressed with their red blend, "Voluptuous". It is sad then when I all-too-often see bottles of Eagle Eye in the discount bin at the wine shops - customers unsure what to make of the brand.
Maybe I am making too much of a fuss about their branding choices. But ask yourself after visiting their web site: Is this a brand that you'd invest $20 to $40 to sample their product?
$21.99 from the winery. Less in the discount bins.