Tag Archives: McLaren Vale

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.”


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

Wirra Wirra 2013 Church Block: Tasting Note

The Wirra Wirra Church Block from McLaren Vale is always a crowd pleaser, and the 2013 doesn’t disappoint. Its good value, fruit forward, everyday WirraWirra Church Blockdrinking. On the nose there is ripe dark fruits, subtle chocolate and roast meats. The herbeacousness  from the Cabernet is less prominent than the 2012 Church Block.  Even though its Cabernet dominant (50%), with Shiraz (37%) and 13% Merlot.

On the palate the 2013 Church Block has dark ripe fruit (mulberry, boysenberry) leap out and kept in balance with fresh acid zing. Soft chalky tannins would happily match with a broad range of foods. Nice length and warming alcohol.

Alcohol: 14.5%
RRP: $20
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

Primo Estate 2013 Shale Stone Shiraz – Tasting Note

Lots of typical McLaren Vale Shiraz here, packed full of ripe dark berries, blackPrimo Estate Shale Stone Shiraz pepper, and black olive.  Suggestions of roast meat, and warm earth make for an enjoyable aroma.

On the palate the Primo Estate Shale Stone Shiraz has dark ripe berries, some red berries, soy savouriness, bitter chocolate/cocoa, makes me think of pan forte. Dark and dense, nicely poised with surprisingly soft tannins and fresh acid, means it’s a multiple glass kind of drink.

Alcohol: 14.5%
RRP: $32
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Sample

Primo Estate 2012 Zamberlan Cabernet Sangiovese: Tasting Note

The Primo Estate 2012 Zamberlan (Cabernet Sangiovese) is made using the Primo Estate Zamberlan Italian ripasso technique. Newly fermented young Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon is pumped over the dried grape skins from the JOSEPH Moda for additional fermentation. The wine is then pressed and barrel aged.

Lusciously herbaceous Cabernet aromas lead out from the front, hints of dark chocolate adding to the intensity. On the palate the herbaceousness continues, along with the chocolate. Ripe dark fruit, some dried fig and a savoury edge, add to the complexity.  Grippy drying tannins call out for food to provide a counterpoint.  Oak is noticeable at the end, but time will integrate things more.

Alcohol: 14.5%
RRP: $35.00
Region: McLaren Vale
Source : Sample

I apologise, I was wrong. Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz

I was wrong – I admit it.

You see the following details on a wine label; Shiraz, 2012, McLaren Vale, and what springs to mind is big ballsy fruit bomb.  But oh no, not here.  The RSW Shiraz may well be the flagship wine of Wirra Wirra, but dont expect super-extracted fully worked Shiraz.

Sourced from the best McLaren Vale blocks of fruit they can access from across the regions diverse geography. Generally from low yielding vines producing intense fruit.  The individual vineyards were kept separate in barrel until the final blending, then a final 3 months in oak to bring it all together.

Wirra Wirra RSW

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz

On the nose the aroma is ripe dark blackberry/mulberry fruit, but in no way over ripe. Hints of forest floor/earth, vanilla biscuit, and nutmeg add to complexity.

The palate of the RSW Shiraz is surprisingly supple, but still powerful. Not medium bodied, but just a notch up from that.  Fine grained tannins definitely don’t interfere with the ripe raspberries and blueberry conserve.  A dusting of cocoa.  Hints of provencale herbs, black olive brine, and warming spices linger on the long finish.  Great acidity keeps it fresh and in balance.  Makes me think it will comfortably cellar for 15 years or more. Im glad I was wrong about McLaren Vale Shiraz.

Also checkout the Wirra Wirra Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon.

Food: A proper Cassoulet de Toulouse.

RRP $70
Alc 14.5%
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer