Created to showcase fine wines—and often make them collectors’ items—artist series bring works by the world’s creative talents to the bottle
(from left to right)
Kenwood “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Sonoma, California), $60: Since 1975, Kenwood has pleased both wine and art aficionados with its Artist Series cabernet sauvignons, featuring works by artists from Van Gogh to Shepard Fairey. The 2005 vintage offers Highway and Byways, a Paul Klee piece that shows a rhythm and proportion also evident in the wine itself, which is luscious with velvety tannins and flavors of tea leaves and licorice.
Leeuwin “Art Series” Riesling 2008 (Margaret River, Australia), $23: Leeuwin’s renowned Art Series wines feature works by leading contemporary Australian artists, such as John Olsen, who Leeuwin commissioned to label its rieslings with four different versions of Frogs in Riesling. Refreshingly crisp with flavors of bright lime and sweet grapefruit, this wine can be enjoyed now but will also age beautifully.
Château Mouton Rothschild 2005 (Pauillac, France), $260: The wine trade was revolutionized in 1924 when Baron Philippe de Rothschild began labeling, maturing, and bottling his own wines in-house. Artists from Picasso to Warhol have since been commissioned to illustrate the bottles. Giuseppe Penone’s work was selected for this ageable Bordeaux with black raspberries that coat the mouth.
Taittinger “Artist Collection” Champagne 1998 (Rheims, France), $480: World-famous Taittinger has created only 10 Artist Collection Champagnes. For the 1998 vintage, celebrated Chinese painter Zao Wou-Ki highlights the elegant, creative flavors of the wine, a 50/50 blend of pinot noir and chardonnay that was cellar-aged and released in 2003.
Château Ste. Michelle “Artist Series” Meritage 2006 (Columbia Valley, Washington), $55: Château Ste. Michelle chose Norwegian nature-lover (and Washington resident) Eva Isaksen to paint the work for the 2006 Bordeaux blend. Aged in French and American oak, the wine has spice and structure. Great growing conditions in 2006 make it a recognizable vintage that can be consumed now or aged.