jamie goode's wine blog: Dude, what have they done to your labels? Flagstone's disaster

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dude, what have they done to your labels? Flagstone's disaster

Bruce Jack of Flagstone is one of my favourite South African winemakers. He's very smart, makes good wine and there's a lovely warmth to his character. You can't help but like him.

In October 2007 I reported how he'd (unexpectdely) sold his winery to drinks giant Constellation. Visiting him in November last year I found that the Flagstone wines were as good as ever, but the one deeply regrettable change that Constellation had made was in the packaging.

Jack's labels used to be wonderful (see picture above which shows some of them on the wall of the winery). Now they are hideously bad (see the bottle shot above). What's with the mock wax seal thing? And the signature on the Dark Horse (you may need to click on the picture to get a larger version)? It's not even his!



At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep the new packaging is crap. Constellation have made a real pigs ear of the Flagstone branding. The wines are supposed to each have a unique character. The new packaging erases all of it from the outside of the bottle. Luckily they haven't managed to cock up the contents.

I hope Bruce gets control of the brand again.

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

if you sell your soul and hence control,you have to face the consequences.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Dionysus said...

Have heard BJ speak a few times, he a real private school type, but boy is he one smart cookie. He knows a thing or two about wines and branding, got a feeling he just buying his time...Jamie any idea how much they paid him for the brand?


At 6:07 PM, Blogger Christian said...

Totally agree with you, Jamie. Great, slightly querky labels replaced by rather bland, anonymous ones. Such a shame.
i don't think Bruce will take it lying down. Fully expect to see them back again....

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a "huge" fan - that's the right word here of the Flagstone wines for about 6 years.
I was stunned to find out that Bruce Jack had sold his winery to Constellation and that he had goen to work for them. I mean that was not the BJ I had been exposed to.

Was his coming over to Constellation the result of an enormous payday? Seriously, ever mind that Constellation destroyed the labelling, they killed his following in the US as well. I have been looking for the brand ever since BJ sold the winery to Constellation. To date - no wine.

Free yourself, Bruce Jack. Walk away and just give it back.


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