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d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2008

Rhone Red Blends from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • JH93
  • W&S92
  • RP91
14.5% ABV
  • JH94
  • RP92
  • JH96
  • W&S92
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • W&S90
  • JH94
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • W&S92
  • RP94
  • JH90
  • JH93
  • JH94
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • W&S92
  • WS90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The lifted red fruits expected from Grenache are met with darker fruit characters and lovely spice. As the wine opens in the glass, the true depth is revealed with layers of gravelly earth, iron and graphite along with licorice and anise. There is also a pretty nuance of fresh roses and dried petals adding an elegant touch.

The palate has immediate impact with pungent, rich dark fruits and earth. The dark plum and mulberry fruit make way for rich, gritty and vibrant fruit tannins which build nicely before slowly fading to reveal oodles of spice and dark earthy fruits.

There is considerable structure, restrained power, focus and great depth focus which will ensure it ages with grace.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 93
Australian Wine Companion
Deep colour; dark and savoury roasted meat, black fruits and tar bouquet; the palate is dense and chewy, with structure driving the wine, and the fruit providing support; firm and chewy to conclude.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Chester Osborn's top selection of old-vine grenache, chiraz and mourvedre, this is dry-farmed, foot-trod and basket-pressed into a fragrant, red- and purple-fruited beauty. Mourvedre brings a sausage meat and pepperoni-like spice to the sweeter strawberry flavors of grenache. Allspice and a waxy fruit skin character add deptch to the tannins. A traditional style, pressings in Australia are meant for long aging, and this will likely be at its best ten years or more from the vintage.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed of Grenache (55%), Shiraz (38%) and Mourvedre (7%), the 2008 The Ironstone Pressings GSM has a medium garnet-purple color and rubber and tar notes giving way to black currant cordial, blackberry juice, black raspberry, star anise and dried Mediterranean herbs. Full, voluptuous and generously fruited, it has medium-firm fine-grained tannins and crisp acid to support, finishing with good persistence. Approachable now, it should drink well to 2018.
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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, Australia
2008 The Ironstone Pressings
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.

McLaren Vale

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Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

YNG782326_2008 Item# 105923

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