This wine is named in honour of d'Arenberg's principal, Francis d'Arenberg Osborn, universally known as d'Arry. d'Arry's Original – called d'Arry's Burgundy in the 60's, 70's and 80's (in the days when medium bodied red wines with a soft finish were always called Burgundy) has always been made from Shiraz and Grenache, the backbone varieties of McLaren Vale, grown on d'Arenberg's low-yielding, 19th century vineyards.
d'Arry's Original is very much a traditional style of wine, being rich, lucious and opulently soft and very much an expression of terroir and variety which ages spectacularly. The final blend varies from year to year in an effort to maintain the well-established hallmarks of d'Arry's Original.
In its youth d'Arry's Original display a bright magenta like brick red colour. The nose invariably attacks with lifted spicy cinnamon plum, mulberry & prune aromas. Typically cherry, wild strawberry & lolly-like musk smells also, as well as tighter liquorice, spice, rosemary & fennel smells. Hints of coffee & caramel on the nose are usually quite evident on the palate; a backdrop for cherry-raspberry & richer mulberry-blackberry primary fruit. The palate is typically d'Arenberg & McLaren Vale, soft & rich in the middle, rolling on to a soft but slightly piquant acid/tannin finish.
Well cellared, d'Arry's Original becomes, soft, generous, full flavored, velvety long & seamless in bottle, with no particular component standing out, as more than four decades of previous vintages have shown.
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.
Maybe I got a bad bottle, but I was looking forward to this wine based upon its ratings and review. When I opened the bottle, The first two things I noticed were the beautiful color of the cork and the wine. The wine had decent legs, but upon sniffing the cork, I knew I was about to be let down. The cork smelled slightly vinegary, the bouquet was similarly hinting heavy handed on acid and tannin. Upon sipping the wine I noticed that the cork and bouquet belied the true nature of the wine. The tannins and acid were heavy handed, so much so that I could barely taste any of the undertones. I definitely won't buy this again. I'll still to my Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons.
Perhaps I just got a good bottle, having read some of the negative reviews. But my experience was a pleasant one; I enjoyed the really dry, rich flavor, and it had a nice finish. I should note, however, that my wife hated it, and couldn't finish a glass. The price is also hard to beat.
You can't go wrong with a McLaren Vale, Australia wine rated 91 by Robert Parker. This blend by d'Arenberg is a winner. I always find this wine satisfying, rich tasting and excellent with dinner or just for a relaxing evening.
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.