Quirky d’Arenberg

A selection of d’Arenberg Wines from the McLaren Vale were tasted at First Glass on Auckland’s North Shore on July 6, 2016.

d'arenberg Selection

Toby Porter, our winemaker host for the evening, has been winemaker with d’Arenberg Wines in South Australia’s McLaren Vale for the past 13 years. He told us some of the winery’s history.

Joseph Osborn, a former employee of Thomas Hardy & Sons, branched out on his own in 1912 when he bought vineyards in the McLaren Vale in what is now known as Osborn Road. His son Frank joined him on the new venture. Frank’s son Francis, affectionately known as d’Arry, now in his 90s and still living in the original family home, was only 16 when he took over in 1943 due to his Frank’s ill health. He introduced the now iconic ‘red stripe’ branding in 1959 and named the winery d’Arenberg after his mother’s maiden name.

d’Arry’s son Chester took over as Chief Winemaker in 1984 and Toby says he took the wines to the next level. A reflection of Chester’s curious nature is that there are thirty-five different grape varieties now growing at the d’Arenberg estate with more on the horizon. The irrepressible Chester, known for his colourful shirts, introduced the quirky names – and every bottle in the 60+ wine range has a story. Chester’s daughters have now joined him to become the fifth generation of Osborns in the family business. That’s just fantastic. Long may d’Arenberg stay in the family hands.

Recently new designs have been appearing on some of the bottle labels but the iconic red stripe remains.

We started the tasting with bubbles from the portfolio of d’Arenberg’s agents in New Zealand, Negociants, then Toby introduced to two d’Arenberg whites and a septet of reds. The wines tasted were:

Louis Bouillot Grande Reserve Cremant De Bourgogne NV – Burgundy, France
d’Arenberg The Money Spider Roussanne 2015
d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2014
d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2013
d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache 2013
d’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
d’Arenberg The Galvo Garage Cabernet Merlot Petite Verdot Cabernet Franc 2010
d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2013
d’Arenberg The Love Grass Shiraz 2012
d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2012

All are reviewed in full on my Wednesday Tastings page.

It was truly a fantastic tasting.  Find out more about these wines at www.darenberg.com.au.

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