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d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2006

Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • JH94
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • W&S92
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Winemaker Notes

Fragrant mulberry and maraschino cherry fruits complement earthy spices and licorice notes against a backdrop of cedar oak. The powerfully structured palate offers layers of ripe exotic fruits and summer flowers blending effortlessly with a fine acid backbone and silky, mineral-edged tannins. The floral finish of jasmine and lavender notes is intense and persistent.

Critical Acclaim

JH 94
Australian Wine Companion

A very serious example of this Southern Rhône blend; dark and minerally, with briary notes and a hint of spice; chewy, long, and with really vibrant fruit on the finish, this would reward a charry steak well. Screwcap.

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 The Ironstone Pressings Grenache (70%)-Shiraz (25%)-Mourvedre (5%) offers a complex nose of cedar, leather, espresso, spice box, violets, black cherry, and blueberry compote. On the palate it offers up gobs of spicy, savory fruit, lovely integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a 45-second finish. Cellar it for 4-5 years and drink it from 2013 to 2026.

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

For a Grenache-dominated (70%) blend, this shows outstanding structure. the firm tannins are slightly drying right now, but should smooth out nicely by 2012 and the wine should continue to drink well through at least 2020. Ripe cherry and cassis notes are framed by subtle cedary oak, imparting a sophisticated elegance to the long finish.

W&S 92
Wine & Spirits

Chester Osborn's top selection of grenache blended with shiraz and mourvedre, this wine is named for the ironstone soil in which his family's ancient vines grow. It has grenache's lovely strawberry flavors, darkened by shiraz tannins but still lifted and refined. There's a meaty, smoked pork butt flavor that combines the wine's oak with its earthy tannins. A substantial blend to age, and to decant as it matures for roast boar.

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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.

Best known for sweet, fizzy white wines but also producing some more serious reds, Asti is both a town and a province in the northeastern Italian region of Piedmont. The best vineyard sites are reserved for Barbera, which can produce some of its best and most age-worthy iterations here as Barbera d’Asti. Other red varieties grown here include Freisa, Grignolino, and Dolcetto, which can be bottled varietally or blended into Barbera.

The wines consumers most commonly associate with Asti, however, are Asti (formerly known as Asti Spumante), and Moscato d’Asti. Both are playful, aromatic, and made from the Muscat grape, but Asti is less sweet, fully fizzy, and more alcoholic (yet still clocking in at only around 9% ABV) while Moscato d’Asti is sweeter, gently sparkling (“frizzante”), and closer to 5 or 6% ABV. Each is produced in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh and fruity flavors of the grape, which include peach, apricot, lychee, and rose petal.

Singularly aromatic, often sweet, and always enjoyable, Muscat never takes itself too seriously. Muscat is actually an umbrella name for a diverse set of grapes, some of which are genetically related while others are not. The two most important versions are Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria, the former being of considerably higher quality. Both are grown throughout the world and can be made in a wide range of styles, from dry and aromatic wines to sweet and richly perfumed dessert wines. It is well known in Italy's Piedmont region for Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sparkling semi-sweet wine that is refreshing and low in alcohol.

In the Glass

Muscat wines possess intense aromatics of peaches, rose petals, geranium, orange blossom, and lychee, often with a hint of sweet spice, and always with a uniquely grapey character that is uncommon in other wines.

Perfect Pairings

Thanks to its naturally low alcohol levels, Muscat is a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine, especially when the wine has a little bit of residual sugar. Off-dry Muscat can work well with lighter desserts like key lime pie and lemon meringue, while fully sweet Muscat-based dessert wines are enjoyable after dinner with an assortment of cheeses.

Sommelier Secret

Muscat is one of the oldest known grape varieties, dating as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing one of the Muscat varieties.

CNC522679_2006 Item# 95876

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