Rating: 94+ Points"
d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2009
Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
Fragrant mulberry and maraschino cherry fruits complement earthy spices and licorice notes against a backdrop of cedar oak. The powerfully structured palate offers layers of ripe exotic fruits and summer flowers blending effortlessly with a fine acid backbone and silky, mineral-edged tannins. The floral finish of jasmine and lavender notes is intense and persistent.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Ironstone Pressings GSM is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 5% Mourvedre (planted in 1918). Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose is just a little restrained, offering notes of earth and tar over dark chocolate, blueberries and black cherries plus a whiff of prunes. The full bodied palate is wonderfully concentrated and structured with tons of savory fruit balanced by crisp acidity and a firm level of chewy tannins. Its finish is long and layered.
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining ruby. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes red berry liqueur, cherry-cola, smoky Indian spices and mocha, with a sexy overlay of dried flowers. Sappy, penetrating and energetic on the palate, which offers fresh raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sweet rose pastille nuance. Dusty tannins add shape to the finish, which repeats the cherry and floral notes. This should age very well."
Wine Enthusiast - "A blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre, this is much more firmly tannic and structured than most such Australian blends. Grilled meat, red plum, black tea and rose hip notes are crisp and firm on the palate."
Wine & Spirits - "d’Arenberg’s classic blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvedre is packed with the spice of McLaren Vale. Mourvedre’s rustic character dominates the blend, laying a scratchy camel blanket over blackberry fruit. Youthfully reduced, this needs cellar time to show its best."
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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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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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