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d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2006

Rhone White Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2007!

Many of McLaren Vale's vineyards are on free-draining soils underlain with limestone, formed by the calcareous remains of the local marine fauna. One such creature is the Hermit Crab, a reclusive little creature that inhabits the cast-off shells of others. The Osborn family thought the name appropriate for this blend, as it is best enjoyed with shellfish and seafood dishes.

Though winter 2005 was dry, heavy rains in spring saw adequate levels of moisture in most vineyards to support growth in the 2006 vintage without irrigation. The cool temperatures experienced were ideal for white grapes, producing fragrant wines with racy natural acidity. Traditional basket pressing was employed for gentle extraction of flavor from these grapes. The Marsanne was fermented in tank to retain its fresh, herbaceous characters, while a portion of the Viognier was fermented in barrel for additional complexity.

The cooler year is reflected in a mineral nose with notes of fresh runner beans, green tropical fruits and nectarine stone. The tight palate displays an array of tropical fruits with quince, ginger and almond husks, and lees characters contributing complexity. Viognier is evident on the mid-palate with silky viscosity, while the Marsanne comes through on the back palate with nutty, olive stone and dried herb notes.

"Soft and charming. A beguiling mouthful of spicy pear and grapefruit flavors that linger with focus on the open-textured finish. Not as rich as pure Viognier, but better balanced. Drink now through 2010."
Wine Spectator
90 Points

Critical Acclaim

WS 90
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.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines...

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Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

PIN179886_2006 Item# 92113

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