d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache 1998
Coffee, mocha, chocolate and leather emerge as dominant older fruit aromas flavours alongside gamey, earthy, cedar like and minty smells. The classic hallmark of peppery-spicy character develops and the velvety texture remains. Occasionally, dried sour cherry aromas and ever so slightly bitter blackberry tannin on the palate develop increasing the wines food applicability. Well cellared, dArrys Original becomes, soft, generous, full flavoured, velvety long and seamless in bottle, with no particular component standing out, as more than four decades of previous vintages have shown.
d'Arenberg is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d'Arenberg's first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale's old bush-vine Grenache. Fourth generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, recently converted all of the family's vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed--all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottlings every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine's Hall of Fame for earning a place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d'Arenberg's revered reputation worldwide.