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Montclairian's Bomb Wine Explodes Onto Marketplace

The hand-crafted Bomb 2009 Oregon Pinot Noir is available this month

Plunging into the brave world of wine isn't for the faint of heart. As with any new business, there are challenges. But for Montclair resident Susan Weeden there are even greater rewards. Recently she and her friend Jim Carney, both wine lovers, began making their own premium Oregon Pinot Noir, which just went on the market this month. (An editor's note: I've tasted it and it's spectacular!)

Here are five questions for our local wine maker:

1) How did you get interested in wine?

I lived in London for 14 years, so through my travels around Europe, I was exposed to a lot of great wine, both simple everyday table wines and more serious bottles. Experiencing the wine of various regions became part of the pleasure of travelling. Only a fraction of the best wine gets exported, and it’s great to experience what the locals drink. I’d also never spent much time in wine country before travelling through the  South of France and Tuscany. I just got caught up in the romance and beauty of it all. I never thought I’d actually make my own wine, but that’s where my Bomb partner Jim Carney came in. Jim and I have been friends for 20+ years. He fell in love with Oregon Pinot Noir during his days at the University of Oregon, and he’s the one who introduced me to it, before it became as well known as it is now. Jim is the kind of guy who thinks of a business idea and jumps in with both feet. I’m practical and detail oriented. We work well together, so when Jim suggested we go for it and make our own super-premium Oregon Pinot Noir, I didn’t hesitate.  

2) What's the hardest part of getting a new wine business off the ground?

Probably navigating the complex federal and state regulations that surround every aspect of making and selling wine. It’s a leftover from Prohibition.  Every state has different laws. For us it was frustrating that New Jersey doesn’t allow consumers to receive shipments from out-of-state wineries.  For an Oregon Winery being run from New Jersey and New York City, this was hard to swallow. It is possible for our New Jersey friends to have Bomb shipped to them from New Jersey retailers (ask your local shop to order some) or have it delivered to a New York address.

Another big obstacle was federal label approval. When the feds asked us to change or remove words in the label painting, we stood firm and insisted that the painting had to be taken as a whole. They finally backed down, and what you see on the bottle is the original version of the label as the artist Borbay painted it.

3) How did you come up with the name Bomb?

We wanted a name that was unexpected, memorable, and packed a punch.  We played around with other names, but just kept coming back to Bomb. It definitely bucks tradition, especially for a premium wine, and that’s what we like about it.

4) What are your favorite wines?

I know it sounds self-serving, but I honestly am in love with Bomb 2009 Oregon Pinot Noir. Jim and I are just thrilled with its complexity, depth, and balance. I am mostly a red drinker, and some of my favorite everyday reds are Borsao Crianza Seleccion 2007 (varietals: Grenache/Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon), Bodegas Hijos de Juan Gil Juan Gil 2008 or 2009 (varietal: Mourvedre), Steele Wines 2008 Writer's Block Cabernet Franc, and a nice Barbera called Elio Perrone Tasmorcan Barbera D'asti.

In the summer, I love a good French rose. One of my favorites is Mas de Gourgonnier 2009 Rose. For more serious wines, all the Washington State Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignons are amazing, and I have great memories of a special bottle of Tignanello (Sangiovese) that Jim, my husband Craig and I once shared. For New Year’s Eve, I love to splash out on a bottle of Laurent Perrier Rose champagne.

5) Tell us what makes your wine different/better and where will we be able to find it?

We are working with one of the most highly-acclaimed winemakers in the Pacific Northwest, Tony Rynders. His specialty is ultra-premium wines, and his techniques have consistently yielded 90+ rated wine. While Bomb is 100% Pinot Noir, Tony’s technique involves blending grapes from a select handful of Willamette Valley vineyard sites to achieve perfect proportions and balance. Bomb’s motto is “Art on the bottle, art in the bottle.” Bomb’s vision is to make extraordinary, artisan wines, labeled with original art that pushes the boundaries of the expected. 

We are just rolling out Bomb 2009 Oregon Pinot Noir, and with only 500 cases made, we expect it to go fast. In Montclair, you can find Bomb at Anglebeck’s Wine Store, 621 Valley Road, or enjoy some at Upstairs, 608 Valley Road. You can also order Bomb online at our website. We ship to 34 states from our Oregon Winery, but for New Jersey shipping, go to Angelbeck's site. If stocks are running low on their website, they can order more for you while supplies last!

profwilliams October 07, 2011 at 01:30 PM
I hope it's good. But the name is unfortunate, and dumb. Not just because of it's obvious connotations in a post 9/11 America, but it feels like that '90's expression "Da Bomb," which sounds and reads as dated as an African medallion. Will the next few be called, "In da House, Merlot" "All that and a bag of chips Riesling" or maybe "You go girl Syrah."
Laine Murphy October 07, 2011 at 02:39 PM
How could anyone say they were caught up in the romance and beauty of Tuscany and the South of France and think BOMB was the BEST name for their first wine? Just think how many Homeland Security bells will go off if you have to google the name.
Susan Worth October 07, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Congratulations! I think the philosphy behind the name and the label is interesting. It does surprise you and it is certainly a memorable name. The artwork is very unusual for a wine label too. I'm looking forward to trying it. Good luck with your venture!
Right of Center October 07, 2011 at 03:53 PM
Yeah. They should have gone with "Chateau Neuf du Bloomfield Avenue". Seriously. Congrats on the new business AND the name. By the evidence here, the chat and the press, I'd say the name is working well.
profwilliams October 07, 2011 at 05:27 PM
I think "Chateau Neuf du Bloomfield Avenue" is the name of Russo's Mayoral ticket.
Laine Murphy October 07, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Name aside, really, all good wishes for your new endeavor. Even B.S would be a better name, for the Beaver State wine.
Professor Francisco October 07, 2011 at 08:38 PM
It is interesting to me that some people look for any opportunity to unsuccessfully degrade other people's successes. So "profwilliams," you're an expert in brand naming or something? You tack "prof" in front of your name to give yourself a little acerbic credibility and go after others like bully in a school yard. To this I say - "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Way to go Bomb! Great name! Great wine!
profwilliams October 07, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Huh? You consider not liking a name a "bully"? What schoolyard are you from? But your inability to even catch the little joke (and the others folks who felt similarly about the name) is telling. Are you one of the owners, a cousin, spouse or what? For you to care so much as to go after an aynonomous poster's dumb screen name only says one thing: you are related to someone involved. I wish them well, and hope, as I said it's good. (And yes, I am an expert in brand-naming. I told Shawn Fanning that the "THE" in Facebook should be dropped. He then suggested it to Zuckerberg. The rest is history.) (In truth, I also suggested adding "NEW" to Coke when they changed the recipe. But I DID NOT suggest the recipe change.)
Kevin October 08, 2011 at 02:38 PM
It seems the word "BullY' and "Bullying" have become quite popular these days. It sort of makes me yearn for the days when everything was a "tsunami"!
profwilliams October 08, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Kevin is right on the money. The labeling of any disagreement, criticism or word that does not scream POSITIVITY as bullying is sad. I expect this from Baristakids, but to see it here is leads me to think that part of the public square is rotting.

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