DO Costers del Segre gets a much-needed new look
If you don’t live in Catalunya and haven’t heard of DO Costers del Segre, you’re very much excused. Actually, even if you do live in Catalunya and haven’t heard of it, I’d be hard pressed to really give you any slack over it.
One of Catalunya’s 11 DOs (#12, DO Cava is administered by Spain), it’s wholly contained with the province of Lleida which is the only one of Catalunya’s four provinces without a coastline. Given this, it’s a bit forgotten despite the fact that it’s lovely territory with unique cuisine and sites to see. But when it comes to wine, there are just under 40 cellars and it’s hard to really define a unique style to the region. I don’t know why they didn’t call it DO Lleida instead of DO Costers del Segre (the slopes of the Segre River) but in some regard, they’ve attempted to deal with this far-flung diversity by breaking it down into seven sub-zones that could probably each be their own DO.
Again, you more than likely won’t know any of this and given the branding that they had, which was created in 2000 but looked like it was from 1995, told you nothing. Generic and dated, it was really one of the worst DO looks in all of Catalunya; a region well known for its design sensibility.
Thankfully, this was not lost on the DO people and just last week they officially launched their new look. They’ve ditched the rather pointless barrel–dated even when it was new given that there have been cellars experimenting with amphorae and stone fermentors for some time. They’ve update the lettering to be from the 21st century as well instead of what you’d have found on the side of a Safari theme park Land Rover. And of course, this has meant an overall dust off of the website and other channels.
Overall a nicely-done job. I can’t say that the “7” incorporated in place of the “T” of Costers would have been my choice but at least people might ask, “What’s up with that?” “Well, we have seven sub-zones.” “Oh, why?” And thus a conversation can be potentially had instead of, “Costers del Segre? No idea what that is, just give me a Rioja Crianza.” when people are out at restaurants in Barcelona.
For those who may find that this was all unnecessary and that “the wine should speak for itself”, well, branding is extremely important and countless people buy based upon the label so this was long, long overdue. But in case you might find my criticism overly harsh, take a look at the logos at the top. If still unconvinced, read what the DO themselves stated in their official press release:
“This old logo with the barrel that was implemented in 2000 didn’t represent the essence of modernity and innovation that characterizes the DO nor the style of our wines. This was outdated as there is constantly less and less use of oak in the wines, it’s very generic, and it shows little of the actual value in our DO.”
This isn’t bullshit as you have wineries ranging from a cooperative created for social benefit and working with ancient grapes next to a 12th century monastery to this “crazy” guy making wine up at 1,200 meters in the Pyrenees. I may not be able to tell you define precisely what DO Costers del Segre “is” but there are definitely some interesting projects afoot that deserved a better brand to hang out under.