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d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2009

Rhone White Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • WS90
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

The nose is expressive and rich with orange peel, candied ginger, apricot, and citrus notes. The Marsanne shows itself in the peach and nutty complexity which is married nicely with an appealing straw like vegetal character. The palate has a lovely balance of sweetness, palate weight, and acidity. Lemon and lime characters are prominent on the palate with a lively granny smith apple acidity providing great focus. With some bottle age the stone fruit notes become more prominent with less emphasis on the citrus spectrum.

Blend: 72% Viognier and 28% Marsanne

Critical Acclaim

WS 90
Wine Spectator

Very pretty, with floral, passion fruit and pineapple aromas and flavors up front, settling into a nice apricot silkiness on the finish.

W&S 90
Wine & Spirits

Chester Osborn named this wine after the hermit who gave his name to Hermitage and the hermit crabs that live on the beach in McLaren Vale. Tasted blind it started a discussion about crab-meat soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan in New York, and lobster rolls in Maine. So there is something to the name-a friendly, party style of white that will get any hermit out of his shell-especially if there's crab to match the wine's creamy, lush peachy flavors.

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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.

North Coast

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Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco...

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Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Napa and Sonoma get all of the attention, but there are a few other counties producing great wine in Northern California. Two notable examples are Mendocino and Lake County, the northernmost winegrowing regions in the state. These AVAs are very different, both from their neighbors to the south and from one another.

Mendocino benefits from the cooling fog of the Pacific Ocean and is able to successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. There is a significant focus here on organic viticulture. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc are the dominant varieties. Both regions are excellent sources of high-quality but affordable California wines in a wide range of styles.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration...

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

PIN305231_2009 Item# 97627

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