d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 1998
After quite some time in bottle the intense colour fruit aromas and dusty gripping tannins tone down, the colour moving towards brown ruby red. Eventually the Grenache and Shiraz blossom as rich, sweet, violet like scents, with spicy, cedary and tobacco based aromas before malty sweet dark chocolate flavours and crunchy, chewy textured black olive, spicy ginger and long fleshy textures. The hallmark of vigorous, fine piquant tannin and acidity continue to reside with The Ironstone Pressings after quite some considerable time, as have previous vintage since the late 1950s.
d'Arenberg is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d'Arenberg's first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale's old bush-vine Grenache. Fourth generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, recently converted all of the family's vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed--all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottlings every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine's Hall of Fame for earning a place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d'Arenberg's revered reputation worldwide.