FACT: The plot that the Terra Fossil grapes are grown on was at one time a paleontological dig site where dinosaur bones were discovered.
‘Wow’, I thought, ‘I wonder what this wine will taste like? How would dinosaur fossils affect the flavor, texture, bouquet, and color of the wine?’ I had to try it! Just the concept alone of being able to state that I had tasted a wine from dinosaur terroir would make it worthwhile!
Cabernet Sauvignon: I began with the Cabernet Sauvignon and high anticipation of what the flavors would be like. I imagined high minerals, or rich fauna flavors as a result of these ancient, prehistoric stomping grounds. Overall, the flavor was unbalanced, highly tannic and acidic (pucker up)! At the price of $6/bottle, I am not surprised, but was definitely disappointed with this one – maybe I am a Cab snob, so this wasn’t the wine for me. I noticed the dinosaur on the bottle was the TRex, though – which may be an illustration of what to expect flavor-wise!
Malbec: I definitely had higher expectations for the Malbec from the start – I mean this was Argentinian wine we’re talking about. First off, the dinosaur on the label was a Stegasaurus. I felt like this was the bottle that should showcase the TRex, since Malbec is king in Argentina… As for the flavor, I definitely preferred this over the Cab. For the $6 price point, I can see this being a top seller – it is fairly easy to drink and a bit smoother than expected. The finish was non-existent, making the wine feel a bit flat overall.
Why the Dinosaurs Died in Vain: The real story here deals with missed opportunity, from a marketing perspective. The initial reason for my fascination with this wine was based on this special terroir. Anyone who is asked whether or not they would like to taste a wine that was grown over dinosaur bones would jump at the chance. If you are not concerned about flavor or price, that is the real appeal of this wine. Why then, when I visited the TerraFossil website, did I find a horror film that featured, not TRex, Teradactyls or any other dinosaur, but…..wait for it……zombies?????!! I kept watching waiting for the dinosaurs’ grand moment in the spotlight. After all, there is a silhouette of a dinosaur on each bottle, right?
Maybe the marketing agency grew tired of the dinosaur theme and wanted to mix it up, but I believe that is the first rule of marketing (aka beat the dead dinosaur to death). Long after you’ve become bored as a marketer, your audience is just beginning to make the association. And, although they admit to being aware of this with their campaign explanation of ‘how not to do product placement’, I still find their featured branded movie horrifyingly sad. Zombies don’t create terroir – Dinosaurs do!!