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d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2006

Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • JH94
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • W&S92
15% ABV
  • JH94
  • RP92
  • JH96
  • W&S92
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • W&S90
  • JH93
  • W&S92
  • RP91
  • RP94
  • JH90
  • JH93
  • JH94
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • W&S92
  • WS90
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4.5 1 Ratings
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4.5 1 Ratings
15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JH 94
Australian Wine Companion
A very serious example of this Southern Rhône blend; dark and minerally, with briary notes and a hint of spice; chewy, long, and with really vibrant fruit on the finish, this would reward a charry steak well. Screwcap.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 The Ironstone Pressings Grenache (70%)-Shiraz (25%)-Mourvedre (5%) offers a complex nose of cedar, leather, espresso, spice box, violets, black cherry, and blueberry compote. On the palate it offers up gobs of spicy, savory fruit, lovely integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a 45-second finish. Cellar it for 4-5 years and drink it from 2013 to 2026.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
For a Grenache-dominated (70%) blend, this shows outstanding structure. the firm tannins are slightly drying right now, but should smooth out nicely by 2012 and the wine should continue to drink well through at least 2020. Ripe cherry and cassis notes are framed by subtle cedary oak, imparting a sophisticated elegance to the long finish.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Chester Osborn's top selection of grenache blended with shiraz and mourvedre, this wine is named for the ironstone soil in which his family's ancient vines grow. It has grenache's lovely strawberry flavors, darkened by shiraz tannins but still lifted and refined. There's a meaty, smoked pork butt flavor that combines the wine's oak with its earthy tannins. A substantial blend to age, and to decant as it matures for roast boar.
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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, Australia
Image of winery
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.

McLaren Vale

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Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

CNC522679_2006 Item# 95876