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News

Introducing the 2010 Icons!

We are pleased to introduce the 2010 d'Arenberg Icons.

Our Icons age gracefully over the years, however we’ve decided to change the way they look. These changes are simple and modern, while paying homage to the history of our brand and packaging, and we are delighted to present them to you now.

Our Icons date back to 1979 when d’Arry made The Ironstone Pressings, simply called ‘Pressings’ back then, and it has had the same label since that day. In 1993 The Dead Arm joined the family, originally a Cabernet Shiraz blend, and in 1995 the Cabernet component was separated and The Coppermine Road was born.

 

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History

In 1912 F.E Osborn Pty Ltd was established with the purchase 64 hectares in the hills just north of the townships of Gloucester and Bellevue, now just known as McLaren Vale.

The purchase was funded by Joseph Rowe Osborn for his son Francis (Frank) Osborn who was studying medicine at Melbourne University but was advised upon ill health to, “take up life on the land”. Frank named the property Bundarra. The youngest of three children Francis d’Arenberg Osborn was born on the property on the 27th of December 1926 to Francis Ernest & Helena d’Arenberg Osborn. He was given his mother’s name upon her death giving birth to him and is universally known as d’Arry. 

 

In 1957 with the death of his father Frank assumed full management and control of the family company in partnership with his brother & sister. On August 16th 1958 d’Arry married Pauline Rowland Preston and had two children Jacqueline Helena and Chester d’Arenberg.

In 1959 d’Arry decided to launch his own label, d’Arenberg in remembrance to his late mother who he never met. It was a small, humble start with the launch including ½ gallon flagons and a small amount of table wines bottled under the d’Arenberg label and by 1963 the volume was up to hundreds of dozens. It was, however, a distinctive livery for d’Arenberg focused on the diagonal red strip which is its feature to this day.

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Vineyards

Today at 80 years of age d’Arry is still very active in his role as Managing Director of d’Arenberg while his son Chester (fourth generation family member) is Chief Winemaker & Viticulturist and is very much the driving force of d’Arenberg today. 

Chester’s philosophy is to try to make the loudest most flowery fragrant, most fruit flavoured wine that has a great palate texture free of excess oak. It should have tannins that are long, lively, gritty and youthful with fragrant fruit-mineral notes. All this with an obvious but not overpowering expression of soil in the aroma through to the last taste.

 

Climate

McLaren Vale's climate is of the Mediterranean type: warm dry summers and cool wet winters, with low relative humidity and relatively high evaporation. In McLaren Vale, the risk of rainfall or frost during the harvest period is rare and this is one of the reasons why the region is such a marvellously predictable place to grow grapes and make premium wines. The proximity to the sea is one of the biggest influences on the climate of McLaren Vale as well as the Lower Mt Lofty Ranges which form the Sellicks Hill ranges and which border McLaren Vale to the East. The result is that hot summer days are moderated by cool westerly, southerly or easterly breezes off the surrounding ocean, and also the 'Gully Winds' from the Hills. This makes for a prolonged ripening period during which time the grapes accumulate flavour and intensity. (and they help cool down the vineyard workers!)

Having a 'Mediterranean' type climate means there tends to be a smaller temperature variation. The average January temperature in McLaren Vale is 20.9 degrees C. Annual rainfall is anywhere from 650-700mm. 150-200mm falling between October and April, which means that rainfall is winter dominant, though we do get some in the growing season. There are numerous microclimates within the region, however, determined by variations in soil type and altitude as well as the various geological landforms. This means we can make wines using fruit from these different microclimates to add complexity to our blends.

 

Soil and Geology

There are a large number of soil and geology types evident across the McLaren Vale region which provides opportunities for adventurous grape growers. A Geology map that was ten years in the making was published in 2010 and it provides a greater understanding of what lies beneath the surface. McLaren Vale was originally a glacial deposit which explains the huge diversity in age and type of the geology and soil. Some of the younger sand and sandstone formations are dated at 500 million years of age with some limestone, quartzite and clay aged between 500 and 750 million years of age. This greater understanding has proved to be a great resource for curious winemakers and was the impetus for more serious discussions about defining the sub-regions of the area.

 

Altitude

d'Arenberg grows and sources grapes from vineyards all over the McLaren Vale region, with a focus on grapes from the north and north eastern corner. The region itself rises from sea level to approximately 220 metres above sea level in the north, on the rise to the Mt Lofty ranges. The higher areas are much cooler than the low lying vineyards and generally make a more elegant wine, particualrly when sourced from the sandy soils of the Blewitt Springs region. d'Arenberg has released a number of wines that express how these environmental relate to flavours in a glass. These unique wines can be found in the Amazing Sites category and include sub-region Grenache wines and a range of single vineyard Shiraz.

 

The must  receives no plunging or pumping over while fermentation occurs. Once the  primary fermentation is nearly complete, traditional foot-treading takes place  prior to basket-pressing. The wine is then transferred to barrel to complete its  primary and secondary fermentation.  After  20 months every barrel is  individually assessed for quality.  Only the best barrels are selected to be  bottled as The Dead Arm Shiraz.  

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Winemaking

The Dead Arm Shiraz is one of the ‘flagship’ wines at d’Arenberg – the very best Shiraz from one of the oldest producers in arguably the best Shiraz producing region in Australia, McLaren Vale.  It is a wine that has a very bold tannin structure as the fruit selected for this wine are from very old vineyards, the oldest now planted in 1912 which crops very low yields.

 

The name for this wine is often joked about. Some thought the wine to be so big  and heavy that your arm hardly worked after consuming a reasonable amount.  Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world.  Often  vines affected are severely pruned or replanted.  One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead  wood.  That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side display amazing intensity.

 

Up until the mid 1990’s d’Arenberg Shiraz was branded as ‘Old Vine’. The onset of the red wine boom in this period saw many new labels appeared on the market branded as ‘Old Vine’. This was a great concern to both d’Arry and Chester as they didn’t feel it was appropriate or accurate so another name was sought.

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28 different wines with 100 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  4 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  33 wines 

De Bortoli ‘Riorret’ ‘Lusatia Park’ Pinot Noir 2016 / This exciting Yarra Valley vineyard does Pinot Noir as well as it does Chardonnay, perhaps even more so. This is a cracker. Plums, earth, slightly sappy notes with some animal skin complexity. Licorice and dark fruits. Satiny tannins and excellent length. This is no simple Pinot; this is seriously good. Should age well for a decade or more. 


Score: 95/100

18d 10h ago

 Stuart Robinson, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  7 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  13 wines 

d'Arenberg's 2013 icon releases have been a stunning return to form. Whilst previous releases (see: Ironstone Pressings, Coppermine Road, Dead Arm) have been good, they - for me - have not quite nudged the Very Good/ Excellent realms. I've oft wondered - and as excellent as the initiative is - what impact Scarce Earth bottlings may have had on these icon releases.



This is good, very good. Ironstone, earth; sanguine, plum, blackcurrant, herb inflected, ferrous - almost wild. The tannin structure - impressive, dominating from the middle third. Oak is present, carrying licorice to its conclusion. Just give it time. 94 

29d 7h ago

 Guo Ying / Sommelier, Pro (China)  tasted  2 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Château Lynch-Bages 2005 / Dark, purple colour. Very open and complex nose revealing, cassis, capsicum, coffee and mintiness. The very same aromas as Mouton has on the nose. Opulent medium-bodied wine with extraordinary concentration and a chewy texture. Ripe round tannins with a mouthwatering acidity and intense dark fruitiness. Flavour shows dark chocolate and hints of anise. Very intense and long finish. Absolutely gracious wine with a long life ahead. Further bottle ageing of 10-15 years will enhance the charm of the wine.

4m 3h ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Yalumba ‘The Caley’ 2012 / Yalumba’s new super-blend, from vines dating back as far as 1901. A mix of Coonawarra cabernet, Barossa cabernet and Barossa shiraz. One for the cellar. Finely balanced, tight and with length. There are dark fruits, hints of old leather, cloves, black olives and much more. Great intensity here, with real persistence. Abundant yet silky tannins. Not a foot out of place. An Aussie classic.


Score: 97/100


Best drinking: Any time over the next three decades.

4m 20d ago

 Stuart Robinson, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Turkey Flat White Blend 2015  /A blend of Marsanne (63%), Viognier (19%) and Roussanne (18%).Scents of white florals, suggestive stonefruit and of a little vanilla creme patisserie.


Honeyed nuances, a little nougat, under-ripe mandarin segments; zest and gentle spice. Early - judicious - picking has given a line of acid about which layers of texture hang, like mille-feuille of flavour and mouthfeel.



Good length, carried about acid, a little toastiness. Enough about it to make it one to both seek to consume and to savour. 91

5m 21d ago

 Stuart Robinson, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  12 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  12 wines 

I was provided with a not-to-be-missed opportunity to taste through a dazzling range of d'Arenberg wines, back vintages and current releases from the broad portfolio and two newer ranges focussing on site expression (Shiraz) and sub-regionality (Grenache).

7m 23d ago

 Colin Gaetjens, Wine Dealer (Australia)  tasted  2 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  24 wines 

“The Best Australian Wine of the Decade 2000 -tasting Part I.
Penfolds Grange 2004 and Henschke's Mount Edelstone 2002 were the stars of the day.”

1y 4m ago

 Toshi Nakamoto, Sommelier (Japan)  tasted  14 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  17 wines 

“d'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz 1999 - 95 points / Clear and brilliant dark red colour with no orange tints. The nose is rewarding with very rich and robust developing aromas of farmyard, touch of tar and smokiness refreshed by ripe brambles. The wine has a very opulent full-bodied palate that reflects the aromas detected on the nose. The structure is very refined with round and ripe tannins and a moderate level of acidity. Ripe fruitiness is turned into wild berry flavors with some animal aromas enhanced by a moderate level of volatility. High level of alcohol is well integrated into the wine leading into long warm finish. Rich and complex wine possessing a tremendous, vigor personality.”

1y 6m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  6 wines 

“Heidsieck & Co Gout American 1907 / In the early morning of November 3rd 1916, off the coast of Finland, the Jönköping, a small Swedish wooden schooner, was stopped by the German submarine U-22. She was carrying 3.000 bottles of Heidsieck & Co Gout American 1907, 10.000 gallons of Cognac, 17 barrels of Burgundy wine charted by the Imperial Court of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, as well as steel products in her hold. Because of the steel products, the commander of the U-22 decided to sink her instantly, but saved the lives of the crew. The vessel went down in less than an hour, remaining untouched at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for more than 80 years.”

1y 10m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  6 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“d'Arenberg Cenosilicaphobic Cat 2009 / Seriously? What would possibly possess someone to name a wine that?
Better I let them tell the story – “Growing up, fourth generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, had a large ginger cat with blood shot eyes named Non Alcoholic Booze.
In typical Australian fashion this was shortened to Booze after he was caught cleaning up a small red wine spill with his tongue. He developed quite a taste for red after that, but was denied access to his new found love by the concerned Osborn family. Consequently Non Alcoholic Booze lived a frustrated life, because despite his nickname, he suffered a monumental case of Cenosilicaphobia (the fear of an empty glass).”
I am not making that up!
The wine itself is a blend of 91% sagrantino and 9% cinsaut, but this vintage won't be released till mid 2012.
Tight, still very youthful Firm tannins and a wine that clearly needs some time to settle. Really quite concentrated. It does need a few years, by when it should be a very different wine. At the moment, too tannic for me. ”

1y 11m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  56 wines 

“Summer wines - highlights were Cedric Bouchard's Jeanne Lieu 2010 with John Kapon(thanks John) and India's best sparkling wines + so many Dom Pérignon's with my wife:)”

2y 1m ago

 Rob Bellini / Sommelier, Pro (United Kingdom)  tasted  2 wines  from  d'Arenberg . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Château Pape Clement 2010 /This is a relatively elegant for 2010, soft, lush and rounded. The nose has an enticing combination of cassis, mulberry and cedar, and some smokiness. There is appealing balance and length, the mid-palate concentration lets it down slightly, but it rallies on the finish. Very intense and already so drinkable. The tannins merge charmingly into a long, sensual finish, with some lingering almost oriental spice lacing the palate. 95 Points”

2y 2m ago

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