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d'Arenberg Wild Pixie Shiraz Rousanne 2008

Roussanne from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • ST91
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Intensely dark, almost black with a purple hue. The nose is lifted and fragrant with blueberry and violets leaping from the glass before a complex background of licorice, boot polish, freshly turned earth and cooked meat emerges. Each sniff reveals more intriguing characters. The palate carefully balances ripeness and elegance opening with fruit characters of plum and blackberry leaf before nuances of smoked meats, forest floor and cinnamon stick are revealed. The earthy character is a real highlight and provides wonderful elegance as the palate builds nicely to a long finish with fine powdery tannins rounding it out nicely. Roussanne ages very well and will fill out the mid palate further in time with careful cellaring. Decanting encouraged.

Critical Acclaim

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Inky purple. Pungent aromas of blackberry, mulberry, olive and cracked pepper on the cool but ripe nose. Supple and sweet but firm, with deep, spice-accented flavors of dark berries, licorice and black pepper. Nothing shy about this. Finishes with broad tannins, persistent sweet fruit and hints of succulent herbs and spicecake. For a rich wine, this is surprisingly lithe and precise.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2008 The Wild Pixie is a blend of 95% Shiraz and 5% Roussanne aged for 12 months in mostly seasoned French oak. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up an enticing perfume of cedar, smoke, game, bacon, and blueberry. Firm and flavorful on the palate (from fruit picked before the heat wave), this savory, lengthy wine will evolve for 2-3 years and deliver prime drinking from 2012 to 2020. Rating: 91+

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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.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history...

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One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simply to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese. These tend to be big, bold, and modern in style, often with noticeable new oak, and sold at super-premium prices.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness...

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

YNG629928_2008 Item# 120208

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