The fine art of written sales talk – an underestimated part of the marketing plan? Alternative headline: The return of Vila Santa!



Basic stuff really. If you want to be thought of as professional facts must be checked, text proof-read and make sure the sales talk is coherent and don’t signal any loose ends. Naturally the clientele plays an important role; if you don’t have the range of customers that seeks information and are truly passionate about wine, then your text might be less analyzed. Still, you need to proof-read your text.

I can’t stress enough how well-written the newsletters of The Rare Wine Co are. They do appeal to consumers in search of more than the bottle content, but also manages to attract new readers. Simply put; if you’re in the business, the American wine merchant should act as a model on serious written sales talk.

Not a newsletter but the stationary website of the Swedish importer of João Portugal Ramos Vila Santa, leaves a bit to be desired. Being one of those who actually reads what’s written I’m confused after attempting to gain more information on the 2008 Vila Santa.

I’m told in the main headline that the vintage of 2008 is a historic one for the super find Vila Santa.

Exclamation mark.

Sounds great but the headline is not followed up on and nowhere am I told why it’s a historic vintage. What am I to do with such information? Tell my guests that this is a historic vintage for Vila Santa? And when they ask why?

Next I’m told that Vila Santa consists of five different grapes.

Trincadeira provides deep color and the character is fruity and slightly vegetative.

Aragonês provides scents of sweet blackberries and raspberries.

Touriga Nacional adds color intensity and scents of dark berries and a floral note.

Alicante Bouschet contributes with a lot of color which gives Vila Santa
a dark blue/red color.

Four grapes mentioned. Three of them seems to have, as their main objective, color providing purposes. But, and this is obviously so important it has to be mentioned; it is Alicante Bouschet that gives the wine that blue/red color.

Strangely, the Cabernet Sauvignon is left out in this description. Why? Don’t the grape contribute to the final blend? Not even….color?

When putting together a text it is essential to proof-read the final version before publishing. At least if you want to come out as serious and signaling you know what you’re talking about. In this case the consumer only gets confusion and a wine with a lot of color. Perhaps a non-issue and me only blowing things out of proportions, but this is too often seen and doesn’t provide the consumer with any useful information at all. It’s called mumbo-jumbo.

Focusing on the wine instead I must say I’m happy to taste the 2008. The most recent vintages hasn’t been to my liking; too oak driven, jammy and a bit simple. I know this is harsh words when speaking of a wine with a price tag on 11 euro’s but João Portugal Ramos has spoiled us over the years with this previously great buy. Therefore it feels good to say Vila Santa has found its way back – or perhaps a new path because this is the most restrained version I’ve tasted so far!

Yes, the color is the one for a young wine consisting of grapes with plenty of antocyans. Three hours of decanting has opened up the wine and the aromas are typical for Alentejo; sweetish dark berries, spices, smoke and toasty oak adding vanilla and ground coffee. Blackcurrants back up together with a sweet licorice scent. Quite elegant aromas.

On the palate it is well balanced with not as evident oak as in previous vintages, fine tannin structure, black currants and a sweet blackberries and plums. Nice mouth fill but never clumsy. Good length on this one and a pure feel in the aftertaste. I could argue the residual sugar feel is not to the wine’s advantage but since it’s rather restrained in style it never gets annoying.

At this price it is nothing but an impressive everyday glass. Furthermore, it will most likely benefit from a couple of years of cellaring. For those of you appreciating a modern style of your wine; this will not disappoint. For those in search of a more classic style of Portuguese everyday table wine I’d rather recommend the splendid 2007 Vallado from Quinta do Vallado in Douro.

(2008 Vila Santa, João Portugal Ramos, Alentejo, 87-88 points)

Where do you live? Check out Vinopedia or Wein for retailers. Portuguese readers can buy it at Garrafeira Nacional.