d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2009
Rhone White Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
The nose is expressive and rich with orange peel, candied ginger, apricot, and citrus notes. The Marsanne shows itself in the peach and nutty complexity which is married nicely with an appealing straw like vegetal character. The palate has a lovely balance of sweetness, palate weight, and acidity. Lemon and lime characters are prominent on the palate with a lively granny smith apple acidity providing great focus. With some bottle age the stone fruit notes become more prominent with less emphasis on the citrus spectrum.
Blend: 72% Viognier and 28% Marsanne
Wine Spectator - "Very pretty, with floral, passion fruit and pineapple aromas and flavors up front, settling into a nice apricot silkiness on the finish."
Wine & Spirits - "Chester Osborn named this wine after the hermit who gave his name to Hermitage and the hermit crabs that live on the beach in McLaren Vale. Tasted blind it started a discussion about crab-meat soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan in New York, and lobster rolls in Maine. So there is something to the name-a friendly, party style of white that will get any hermit out of his shell-especially if there's crab to match the wine's creamy, lush peachy flavors."
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, the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which leads to 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 top grapes of the region, with some Cabernet Sauvignon planted as well. 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 regions 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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3 ratings, 2 with reviews
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 & 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.
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