d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale continue to produce a good range of mid priced wines. To follow are reviews of their new releases. The reds are from grenache and shiraz, and a blend of the two. The whites are from fiano, sauvignon blanc and riesling, with the latter two wines made in low alcohol styles and sourced from the nearby, and cooler, Adelaide Hills. d’Arenberg’s fiano deserves particular mention and is well worth your interest.
The Custodian Grenache 2020
From McLaren Vale fruit, this wine has a medium depth of colour. Its aroma reminds of earth, dark cherries and liquorice. The palate is dry and full bodied and its alcohol is 14.5%. Grenache has a natural home in McLaren Vale and this grenache is typical of it. Suitable for current drinking. Rating: Good (★★★, 88 points).
The Footbolt Shiraz 2021
From McLaren Vale, the Footbolt shiraz is deeply coloured in the glass. It has aromas of liquorice. The palate expresses notes of dark plums and mulberry, spice, has some grippy tannins and is full bodied. This is a well made typical McLaren Vale shiraz for a modest price. Rating: Good (★★★, 89 points).
d’Arry’s Original Grenache Shiraz 2020
This blend is of grenache and shiraz, also from McLaren Vale. It shares the dark cherry aroma and earth characters of “The Custodian”. The shiraz adds a touch of sweeter fruit on the palate and finish. Rating: Good (★★★, 88 points).
The Sun Surfer Fiano 2023
The Italian variety fiano appears to do very well in McLaren Vale. Lest the name suggest that this is not a serious wine, it is a serious wine. It opens to a waxy and lemon aroma that is chenin blanc like. The palate is viscous, waxy and has high acidity. The alcohol is a moderate 12.2%. This is a very fresh and enjoyable organic wine and the pick of d’Arenberg’s new releases. Drink now. Rating: Very Good (★★★★, 92 points)
The Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc 2023
From the Adelaide Hills, this is a low alcohol (11.0%) and primary expression of sauvignon blanc. It has a very pale, water like colour. It has very aromatic suggestions of grass and herbs, verging on pungent. There is no oak and the acidity is high and fresh. The palate is light bodied from its low alcohol. Good current drinking. Rating: Good (★★★, 86 points).
The Dry Dam Riesling 2023
Also from the Adelaide Hills, this wine resembles a Central Otago style. It has aromas of steely lemon. The palate has firm acidity, some residual sugar but it finishes in a mostly dry way and continues the steely but ripe fruit expression. The alcohol is 10.5%. Drink over the next 5 or so years. Rating: Good to Very Good (★★★☆, 89 points).
Source: samples, photography courtesy of d’Arenberg, tasted October 2023.