Tag Archives: 2011

dArenberg 2011 Sticks & Stones: Wine Review

For those used to big dark fruity red wines, you may require a little encouragement to approach the d’Arenberg Sticks & Stones.  But I strongly encourage you.  Its a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, Souzao and Tinta Cao.  Never heard of Souzao nor Tinta Cao? Dont worry, I had to look them up as well.

dArenberg Sticks & Stones

The 2011 d’Arenberg Sticks & Stones has lovely meaty, gamey aromas. Definitely more savoury and earthy end of the spectrum, but also nice ripe dark cherry keeping it fresh.

On the palate there are more savoury characters, like cured meats, and Italian herbs. Medium bodied, with warming alcohol.  The tannins are smooth and drying, and cry out for a platter of cured meats, and roasted vegetable antipasto in the afternoon sun.

The 2011 d’Arenberg Sticks & Stones is interesting and not your normal package. But you shouldn’t expect anything normal from d’Arenberg.

Alcohol:  14.4%
RRP: $29
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

dArenberg 2011 Laughing Magpie: Wine Review

dArenberg Laughing Magpie

The Laughing Magpie from d’Arenberg has always been a consistent performer.  A traditional blend of Shiraz, with a bit of Viognier adding softness and floral characters.

Alas, the 2011 d’Arenberg Laughing Magpie took me by surprise.  On the nose there was a bit of forest floor up front, followed by meaty characters and dark plum. All-round it wasn’t an intense aroma as expected and probably lacking the floral component of previous years. Perhaps I was having a sensory bad day.

On the palate it was soft and drying, with good length. Dark cherries, ripe plum, a whiff of cracked black pepper, and clove/allspice.  But overriding was a funky smoked meat quality which distracted.  It reminded me of an acquaintance, Brett, who I haven’t seen for a few years. Shall we just say he had a personal aroma problem, but he also liked funk music, so we put up with him because he was interesting. [Obtuse cork-dork reference.]

On the second day the funk had dissipated. But overall it wasn’t the Laughing Magpie I knew so well.

Alcohol: 14.2%
RRP: $29
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

dArenberg 2011 Dead Arm Shiraz: Wine Review

I’m not going to mention the 2011 vintage in South Australia. [I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.] The 2011 d’Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz is an interesting beast. It presents a few of the typical McLaren Vale Shiraz characters, such as dark berries and black olive. But also hints at more development than expected from a new release. darenberg Dead arm shiraz

On the nose there’s aromas of ripe dark fruit, black olive, bay leaf, and pink peppercorn. With definite points for complexity and interest.

On the palate the Dead Arm Shiraz has more developed flavours, but maintains its liveliness with higher acid. The acid actually somewhat ungainly in the lineup. Chalky adhesive tannins dominate the dark berries, olive brine, and gamey flavours.

An interesting beast indeed, and consistent with the vintage conditions.

Alcohol: 14.3%
RRP: $65
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

dArenberg 2011 Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Review

Just to prove that preconceived ideas can be a dangerous thing, I give you Exhibit 1: d’Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon from 2011.dArenberg Coppermine Road

2011 is well know as being cooler and wetter than normal, although McLaren Vale escaped pretty well in contrast to Barossa and Clare Valley.

Given the cooler year I was expecting, green herbaceous and barely ripe fruit.  Instead the 2011 dArenberg Coppermine Road is lush and rich.  Ripe fruit, not overtly sweet but all in balance. On the nose theres white pepper and subtle spice, dark berries, and leathery make me think Hunter Valley Shiraz.

On the palate lovely acid balances the rich dark berries. Hints of menthol/mint and dark rich chocolate. Lively tannins suggest the dArenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet is a quality age-worthy wine. Proving that challenging vintages let great winemakers shine through.

The defence rests, your Honour.

Alcohol: 14.3%
RRP: $65
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

d’Arenberg 2011 Ironstone Pressings – Wine Review

Much has been written about the 2011 vintage, so its always interesting to see what leading wineries have produced from the year. Especially when its icon wines, and from a ideal region like McLaren Vale. Ironstone Pressings

The 2011 d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings – a blend of Grenache 70%, Shiraz 25% and Mourvedre 5%. On the nose there’s warm earth, and provencal herbs, a sweeter fruit jube aroma lightens things up. White pepper and spice.

The palate of the 2011 Ironstone Pressings, technically I’d have to say medium bodied, but with surprising depth. Chalky, grainy tannins. Dark fruit edge and more of that warm earth. Given the 70% Grenache I would probably have expected more redfruit lightness.

The 2010 Ironstone Pressings from d’Arenberg really grabbed my attention. The 2011 probably a little less so.

Alcohol: 14.1%
RRP: $65
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

Its a Barossa Shiraz. Really

Fox Gordon 2011 Eight Uncles Shiraz

Restrained, medium bodied, bright, juicy, and 13.8% alcohol.  Probably not the first words you expect to see when describing Barossa Shiraz, but definitely representing the vintage.  It was one of the coolest and wettest in many a decade, and possibly more ‘European’ like.  So don’t go expecting over the top jammy fruit bombs.

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