With the exception of the name d’Arenberg, it is probably not unfair to suggest that the rest of the label won’t be entirely obvious. “Cenosilicaphobia” I am led to believe by our ever left field winemaker Chester Osborn, is the fear of an empty glass. Sagrantino is the tannic and rustic Italian grape variety that finds its native home in Umbria. And cinsault is widely planted in southern France, where it has good drought resistance, is low in tannin and produces wines with good fruit and acidity. Together, Cenosilicaphobia, sagrantino and cinsault, and of course, a cat, find their place in McLaren Vale in Chester’s hands.
The 2009 release of this wine – let’s call it the CC for simplicity – most definitely requires a good decant. It pulls at the leash, requiring a big Osso bucco to tame it. It aromatics challenge and remind of dark chocolate, soy, game meats and iodine. The palate keeps us in this different place, with dry tannins, high acid and flavours reminding of bitter dark chocolate and boysenberry. This is a cerebral wine that should be enjoyed with food.