d’Arenberg produce four different dessert wines and it was very interesting to taste them together. Well, not literally together of course, but sequentially. They are each $20 and from the 2015 vintage, and made respectively from riesling, chardonnay/semillon/viognier, semillon/sauvignon blanc and viognier/arneis. As appears customary for d’Arenberg, the naming pushes boundaries and here I will give particular credit to the naming of the semillon/sauvignon blanc blend.
The Noble Wrinkled Riesling 2015 has aromas of lemon and lime zest. The palate is intensely sweet and honeyed with a baked toffee character and proves too sweet ultimately for me. The fruit is from McLaren Vale. The Noble Prankster Chardonnay Semillon Viognier 2015 has unusual aromas of kiwi fruit and guava. The palate is sweet and reminds of green mango with a full bodied fatness from the chardonnay, which is less often seen as a dessert wine. The fruit is from McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. Of this group, the next two were the most classically proportioned wines and both come from the Adelaide Hills. The Noble Mud Pie Viognier Arneis 2015 is true to viognier type with kernel, apricot and honey aromatics, and a balanced, sweet palate reminding of apricots and is attractive. The Noble Botryotinia Fuckellana Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2015 challenges a few naming conventions, but is the best wine of the bunch. It has stone fruit, nectarine and orange peel aromatics. The palate is sweet, with brown sugar and orange peel overtones.
These wines did have me pondering a technical question. How is it that only particular parts of the vineyard can be infected (deliberately or naturally) with the botrytis cinerea fungus without infecting neighbouring vines? Your thoughts appreciated.
Read more at darenberg.com.au