As a young wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon from d'Arenberg's High Trellis paddock has a dense crimson red colour with purple tinges.
The High Trellis has a typical young Cabernet Sauvignon attack on the nose; lifted mint and capsicum Cabernet edges above a rich, ripe blackberry, plum and liquorice base. Lighter typical cassis and blackcurrant aromas are also evident. A little smoky vanillin oak and cinnamon smells are usually present on top of brooding violet scented fruit and sweet cedar aromas.
On the tongue, mouth filling sweet blackberries, plums and blackcurrant flavours are highlighted by the rich, strong mid palate. Mulberry-like fruit continues from the mid palate balanced by finely structured and firm fruit and oak tannin on the typically long, fresh young tangy finish.
After time in bottle d'Arenberg's High Trellis Cabernet develops brick red-brown colour and classical, elegant cigar-box, tobacco, coffee and mocha smells. With significant bottle age d'Arenberg's High Trellis is invariably supported by aromas of violets, truffles, cooked beetroot, toffee and stewed rhubarb. These characters continue onto the palate where serious cashewy, black olive, liquorice and earthy chocolate flavours can be found after time. The wine's new oak overlay evident when younger, evolves into a consistent, evenly weighted rolling, cedary coffee-bean, mocha soft dusty length followed by an invariably vibrant fresh acid - tannin finish.
One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.
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McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area with the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which contributes a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
In McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the most-planted grapes of the region. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the region are excellent.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.