Hertelendy’s Heavy Metal Collector’s Edition


What do you get when you combine Heavy Metal Magazine and Napa Valley’s Hertelendy Vineyards? Clearly, you get a killer partnership of two different industries, delivering edgy combinations of superior quality, impressive artwork, and an Easter Egg surprise of Augmented Reality. Together, they have created a NEVER-BEEN-DONE-BEFORE REVOLUTION! Here’s how this project all unfolded.




In August 2017, Hertelendy Vineyards was featuring their wines at Los Angeles Food & WineRalph Hertelendy was pouring his 96 point Robert Parker Wine Advocate rated 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon when all of a sudden, he found himself conversing for a longer-than-average amount of time to a wine connoisseur who happened to be the president of Heavy Metal Magazine, Brian Witten. 

This was exciting to Ralph because his brother Glen fanatically grew up reading Heavy Metal, and Ralph remembered that this magazine was edgy, graphic, and intense. Therefore, Ralph showed Brian the edgy artwork created for his glow-in-the-dark Audēre Red Blend label, and they both quickly hit it off. By March 2018, they were already in talks about a potential partnership with Hertelendy’s Napa Valley Cabernet Franc program. All they needed to do then was to find the right artist for this project…

Brian then began searching for different artists at Heavy Metal who not only had the time to do this project, but also enjoyed wine (because partial payment for this job would include wine). That’s when he found Shawn Coss. Shawn understood Ralph’s fantasy-themed vision from the very beginning, and from the very first concept to the final draft, Shawn absolutely nailed it (Shawn Coss Artwork can be found HERE)!


Why did Hertelendy Vineyards choose to want to create a fantasy concept with flames and a phoenix? In 2017, Napa Valley endured (at the time) the worst fire in its entire California history. On October 7th 2017, Hertelendy Vineyards called the pick for their Cabernet Sauvignon harvest and only 25% of it got harvested. The vineyard managers said that they would harvest the rest on Monday October 9th, and as you know…the fires began late Sunday night. Unfortunately, Hertelendy Vineyards lost 75% of their Cabernet Sauvignon in this fire. It is through these hardships that tests one’s resiliency, and just like a phoenix, Hertelendy Vineyards shall rise from the ashes and remain #napastrong.




Once the final draft of the label became permanent, Brian and the Heavy Metal team contacted “Internet Famous” Rob Shields to begin the secret Easter egg augmented reality (a.k.a. “AR”) animation. If you download the Heavy Metal AR app, and put it over the image, you will see Rob’s animation come to life. Perhaps you have seen Rob’s prior work in Heavy Metal Magazine or Neon Wasteland? If not, be sure to check it out with the Heavy Metal AR app.

What do the critics have to say about this wine? Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Editor-in-Chief) from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave the 2016 Cabernet Franc 95 points saying:

“Blended of 75% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 2% Malbec, the 2016 Cabernet Franc is deep garnet-purple in color and offers up a gorgeous nose of fragrant earth, red roses, black raspberries and spice cake with hints of redcurrant jelly, wild blueberries and forest floor plus a waft of black tea. Full-bodied, the palate possess bags of poise and polish, with firm, finely grained tannins matching the intensity of perfumed red fruits, finishing long and lively. Just beautiful.

Check out what she said about it on social media (see picture). With only 82 cases produced, if you’re interested in acquiring a piece of this collector’s history, click HERE to learn more.

MUSIC CREDIT (in AR animation): STARMAGEDDON (Ralph Hertelendy and Flynn Gleason)