d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache 2017
Blend: 50% Grenache, 50% Shiraz
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
“That’s just beautiful.” I don’t often write those words for a $20 wine, if I write them at all. While Chester Osborn may be farming 37 varieties and making many more wines, he has in no way neglected this classic. In fact, this is the best d’Arry’s Original in recent memory, though Chester’s father, d’Arry Osborn, may remember better since he created the original “Burgundy” blend in the 1960's. This is a lovely, bright, sassy wine, more about elemental sensations than any direct fruit. The grape-skin freshness of its tannins seems to reflect the cool, late vintage, delivering a sensation like the pure brisk feel of snow melt. The texture is supple, with some rocky edges, and there’s a spice to the wine, a bright fruit character shadowed by gamey notes. Simple, classic and delicious.
Juicy, plump cherry, blackberry and blueberry flavors mingle with vanilla bean, mocha and nutmeg details in this red. The tannins are firm, and there's a savory, sanguine note in the background, plus a lingering hint of roasted chestnut. Shiraz and Grenache. Drink now.
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.
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, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.