The nose is an inviting swirl of flowers, spice, earth and red fruits including strawberries and freshly-picked mulberries. This is serious stuff, layered, lifted and complex.The palate is a textural wonderland, slippery graphite then grainy, gritty fruit tannin flows into earthy grip betraying its old-vine concentration. All the while the ripe red fruits dance about, keeping everything fresh and zingy.This is an intense, structured Grenache worthy of ageing to build upon its already complex character. Decanting prior to serving will allow this wine to open, cellaring over the next 10 to 15 years will reward the patient.
At a time when Grenache was considered un-fashionable Chester Osborn maintained a vigilant search for old vine McLaren Vale Grenache vineyards, showing faith in a variety that has been central to d’Arenberg since the very beginning. His search unveiled a number of old bush vine and poorly maintained trellised vineyards in various states of disrepair. Many of these ‘derelict’ vineyards were overgrown with native grasses and bracken ferns and weren’t being used for grape production—one was even being used to graze horses! Restoring these vineyards has been a time consuming labour of love, and while they still have a slightly dishevelled appearance they are back producing very low yields of exceptional fruit.