d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2011
Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia
The first look displays primary fruit characters of mulberry, blueberry and plum. Deeper inspection however starts to reveal more complex layers, conjuring images of aniseed, fennel and coriander seed. The sweet and savory fruits are laced by fine silken tannins which lead to a super persistent finish, again displaying a delightful fruitiness, accompanied by more savory, cedary, baking spice like notes. Simply put, this wine is liquid velvet.
Wine & Spirits - "Yes, the wine is funky, but this is intoxicating grenache. The fruit is dynamic, with a bright red-berry flavor ringing out above intense umami, that brightness transformed into the taste of a sun-warmed morel. The tannins have a ancient vine character, rustic and grand. Decant a bottle for roast squab. "
Australian Wine Companion - "Upfront raspberried fruit gets the action going but a savouriness (clove, earth, herb) through the finish leaves you with something to ponder. Medium-weight. Impeccable shape through the mouth. Cool vintage has done more benefit than harm."
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. View all d'Arenberg Wines
About McLaren ValeView a map of McLaren Vale wineries
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.
Notable FactsIn 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.
About AustraliaLike 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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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