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d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2004

Grenache from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • JH94
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Some years ago, chief winemaker, Chester Osborn, sought out additional premium Grenache fruit from McLaren Vale to meet the high demand for d'Arenberg's Grenache-based wines. Amongst others, a particular vineyard planted thirty years ago with Grenache appeared promising, and was the inspiration in the naming of this wine.

Last used for grape production two decades ago, the vineyard fell into neglect and was utilized as a horse paddock. Horses had trampled on the vines making them unproductive. Vine pruning occurred sporadically when the horses snacked on them. Long bracken ferns and native grasses up to a meter high entwined with, and hid the vines. The vines themselves resembled Medusa's hair - wild, thick, struggling and gnarled. Taming and rejuvenation of the vineyard occurred over several years with weeding, reposting, trellising and pruning undertaken. The exceptionally low yielding Grenache was hand-picked late in vintage.

The palate starts with a huge Wam! of flavor. Thick, ripe mulberries, blackberries and blueberries progress into a rich, gutsy, licorice and bitumen palate, followed by masses of powerful, youthful, gritty fruit tannins, layered with tones of flowery, cranberry and dark fruit flavors, and a youthful acidity.

This is a wine of intense concentration. With time, the tannins will somewhat soften and integrate as the fruit flavors open. Enjoy with grilled chicken or lamb. Drink now or cellar for 5-7 years.

Critical Acclaim

JH 94
Australian Wine Companion

WS 91
Wine Spectator

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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, , Australia
d'Arenberg
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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

SOU138685_2004 Item# 89771

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