Most of McLaren Vale's acclaimed and historic vineyards are impregnated with ancient, decomposed laterite granite known as ironstone. Its extraordinary rusty redbrown colour is derived from the iron oxides present in the stone. The larger pieces were cleared from the vineyards in the late 1880's and utilised in many of the buildings at d'Arenberg, most notably the old stables.
This wine is extremely alluring. The intriguing nose is at once both fresh and complex. Blood orange, black cherry, and dark fruits leap out of the glass. Behind them lurk complex notes of sooty earth, game, and charcuterie. Baking spices make themselves known and there is a ferrous-like aroma of fresh blood which flows through onto the palate. Here the wine starts building layers of flavour. Initially red berries, brooding mulberry, and plummy sweet fruit flood the tongue. This is followed with finely balanced, savoury mid-palate weight, accentuated by spicy minerality. A very subtle hint of lightly toasted oak is supported and carried by lively fine tannins on the vibrant and lingering finish. Intoxicatingly alluring.