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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.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline...

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

PIN305231_2009 Item# 97627

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