Tag Archives: dArenberg

Luxury Dining in McLaren Vale

Luxury dining experiences in McLaren Vale are set to challenge convention with the opening of the d’Arenberg Cube scheduled for late 2017. Offering sensory experiences designed to entice and stimulate the senses, the appointment of head chef, Brendan Wessels, is the first of many exciting announcements about this highly anticipated restaurant. Assisting with research, development and implementation of the culinary experience is Lindsay Dürr.

After many years training in a Michelin starred kitchen, travelling and learning about global gastronomy, and more recently working at The Lake House and Leonards Mill, South African husband-and-wife team Brendan and Lindsay are working together to create a unique dining adventure.  d'Arenberg Cube

“The restaurant will serve exceptional dishes that engage the imagination of our guests, amusing and delighting them,” Brendan said. “It’s not just about the food, it’s about the individual experience for each customer.”

The man behind the d’Arenberg Cube is fourth generation family member and current Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn. “The restaurant is going to be very unique,” he said. “Every aspect has been carefully considered to create an environment that stimulates the senses, with a playful element. There are dining chairs that explode with colour, tables crafted from old oak barrels, and eclectic pieces of art I’ve collected over the years.”


dArenberg 2012 Ironstone Pressings: Wine Review

For many winemakers and many regions of South Australia 2012 vintage was a relief.  Ideal ripening conditions, on top of the previous wet winter meant vines were healthy and fruit in top quality. So expectations are pretty high for the 2012 releases, let alone those icon wines from top producers like d’Arenberg. Ironstone Pressings

The  d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings as always impressed me as a blend.  The 2010 Ironstone Pressings was memorable. The 2012 release is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 5% Mourvedre. The Grenache dominance brings with it gorgeous floral and violet lightness, followed by a gamey meat savouriness.  Its very complex with many layers developing and showing itself.

On the palate definitely at the savoury end of the spectrum; warm sun-baked McLaren Vale earth, fresh sour cherry. The complex flavours linger and continue to unfold. The tannins are fine and somewhat drying, but the wine is still soft and lively.  Very enjoyable drinking now and as with all their icon releases will develop over the next decade. The d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings is good value at $65.

RRP $65
Alc 14.4%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

dArenberg 2012 Derelict Vineyard Grenache: Wine Review

McLaren Vale has been a great proponent of the Grenache variety.  Its suits the warmer climate of the Mediterranean region. While it can be at risk of over yielding, and higher sugar and therefore alcohol, careful vineyard management can produce stunning examples.  d’Arenberg have been advocates of Grenache and especially older vine Grenache.darenberg Derelict Vineyard Grenache

The 2012 Derelict Vineyard Grenache, comes from a resurrected bush-vine vineyard. Restoring these vineyards has been a time consuming labour of love for the d’Arenberg team. The result is a wine with aromas of warmed earth, cola, spices and white pepper. No hints of confectionery, but plenty of fruit.  Ripe raspberries, and plenty of ripe darker fruit leap about.  It looks almost Shiraz like in colour.

On the palate its definitely bigger bodied than some Grenache’s, with more tannin and intensity – again making me think of Shiraz. Flavours of sour cherries, white pepper and warm spices. Nice fresh acidity balances the ripeness. Finishing with more savoury edge. Some may choose to cellar for a few years for the tannin to soften, but it could also be a gateway drug for those Shiraz lovers wanting to explore the Grenache style more.

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

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