Those of you who were thinking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's foray into the winemaking business would be a bust had better think again.
"MasterChef" judge, restaurateur, and vineyard owner Joe Bastianich did a review of the couple's 2012 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé -- yes, the one that sold out in five hours -- and gave it solid marks.
Bastianich tells Vanity Fair that the Jolie-Pitt vino venture, which was produced at their southern French estate, stands out from other star-branded wines on the market (sorry Drew Barrymore and Fergie!) because "the classic traps of celebrity vintners don’t apply. They’re not celebrity vintners; Brad and Angelina are real vintners. They hired a real wine-maker, they waited until the wine was good, they released it properly -- this is a legitimate wine."
Bastianich described the rosé, which the couple partnered with the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel to make, as appropriately sweet-smelling. In fact, as sweet as candy.
“With the nose, it has macerated wild strawberries, confectionary sugars, and strawberry or raspberry Pez, like the candy," he noted. "In taste, the varietals it’s made of ... make it slightly acidic on the palate. Not in a bad way, but it’s definitely real and acidic, and firm. It’s very pretty on the olfactories -- rose petals and confectionary sugar -- but a little rougher on the palate. But it’s a very serious wine."
Serious ... but with a color perhaps inspired by one of the Jolie-Pitt girls' toys.
“The color is kind of like fluorescent, Hello Kitty pink -- some rosés get more coppery, but this is a very beautiful aesthetic," he notes, calling it, "very, very, very pretty."
The one thing Bastianich didn't completely drink up is the packaging -- a bottom-heavy, champagne-like bottle, which architecture lover Pitt and Jolie helped design.
"Looking at the packaging, this is basically a champagne bottle -- which is a little bit odd," he noted. "As a wine-maker, I would never focus so much on my packaging -- in fact, I think the packaging with this wine is so out of the realm of what you would expect that it makes you more skeptical of the quality than you might otherwise be.”
So is it worth the price, which is the low $20 range? Bastianich said oui.
"You know, it’s $23. Could you find a better rosé for $15? Probably. But all things considered -- sex-appeal factor, packaging -- maybe it’s worth the extra $8.”
This is a promising start for the couple, who, according to a spokesperson for Perrin, had been "looking for excellence" when they embarked on their new venture and wanted to do more than "just put their name" on the bottle. 6,000 bottles were sold during the initial run and there are expected to be 150,000 total in the first year. After that, it's likely Pitt and Jolie will try their hand with red and white wine.
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