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d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2002

Rhone White Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP89
0% ABV
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  • WW90
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  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

Upon release, The Hermit Crab is a green, brilliant mid-straw color, and exhibits fresh flower and tropical fruit aromas, with emphasis on, apricot and white peach, as well as pear, pineapple, guava and mango. Added complexity comes from a nutty touch. The youthful palate is immediately fruity, with strong tropical and stone fruit flavors, leading to a very long finish.

This wine will mature into the medium-term, producing a rich, rolling, generous and complex wine, balanced by long, clean, refreshing acidity. Given time to prove its longevity, and most importantly, not served overchilled, The Hermit Crab should show an intense, complex nuttiness, with an emphasis on cashews and butterscotch, while still retaining a fragrant, mineral character.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, Australia
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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. Whites, often made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc tend to be opulent and full of tropical, stone and citrus fruit.

Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions, proving most successful in Spain, Australia and California. Typically some combination of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varyiong degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation.

In the Glass

Each variety contibutes something unique and different. Round, textural Grenache blanc gives green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes while Viognier provides a creamy texture and elegant aromatics. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

White Rhône blends are quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might often be matched to red wines. Heavier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and St-Péray. Condrieu and Château-Grillet can produce single-varietal Viognier only. The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including the ones named above as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc.

PAR050651_2002 Item# 60989