Tag: Mourvedre

d’Arenberg The Bonsai Vine Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre McLaren Vale 2016

The 2016 vintage of d’Arenberg’s “The Bonsai” GSM is a blend of 48% grenache, 47% shiraz and 5% mourvèdre.  It is quite reticent in its aroma, with some red berry characters.  The palate is baked and full bodied in impression, with sweet and savoury edges and somewhat prominent acidity.  Ready to drink now, this is sound drinking.  Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $29. Website: www.darenberg.com.au. Source: Sample.

McLaren Vale visit

I visited McLaren Vale briefly with my fellow MW students in November, with stops at Coriole and Noon.  Some vineyard pictures and brief comments follow.

(Above) Shiraz vines at Coriole, against a backdrop of dry fields.  Some (possible) wind damage on shoot tips on right hand side.

Fruit set on 1919 shiraz vines at Coriole.
Heavy mulching for soil moisture retention on Coriole 1919 shiraz vines.
Gobelet trained mourvèdre vines at Noon, and dry soils.
Gobelet trained graciano vines at Noon competing with grass and a row of eucalyptus trees, and requiring irrigation lines.
Dry grown, gobelet trained grenache at Noon.
Some particularly healthy looking grenache vines at Noon, the outside row showing more vigour.

d’Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2016

Image courtesy of d’Arenberg

d’Arenberg’s “The Ironstone Pressings” continues its form as a benchmark McLaren Vale GSM.  A blend of 70% grenache, 25% shiraz and 5% mourvèdre, the 2016 vintage is savoury and earthy, but with ripe and full flavoured fruit underneath.  The palate is full bodied, viscous and has quite firm but ripe tannins and long length on the finish.  This wine can be approached now or over the next decade.  Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $75. Website: www.darenberg.com.au. Source: Sample.

Mr. Mick Rosé Clare Valley 2018

The Mr. Mick rosé is made by Tim Adams in the Clare Valley and from the unlikely combination of sangiovese, tempranillo and mourvèdre.  In the glass, it has a pink/purple hue, fresh acidity and is very fruity and finishes dry.  Overall, this is a pleasant rosé that is low in alcohol and keenly priced.  Rating: Good. Abv: 10.5%. Price: <$15. Website: mrmick.com.au. 

d’Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2015

d’Arenberg’s The Ironstone Pressings is a benchmark GSM from the McLaren Vale region.  The 2015 vintage in the glass here has aromatics that remind of black fruits and cedar, the latter particularly well handled.  The palate is dry, the tannins are firm and the length long.  This wine supports my thesis that grenache (and its blends) represent some of d’Arenberg’s (and McLaren Vale’s) best wines. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $70. Source: Sample.

Domaine Gayda Figure Libre Freestyle Vin de Pays d’Oc 2015

The picture shows the 2016 vintage.  The 2015 vintage is reviewed here.

This is another interesting Vin de Pays d’Oc from the south of France.  Organically grown, it is a blend of 40% syrah, 40% grenache, 10% carignan and 10% mourvèdre sourced variously from Roussillon, Corbières and La Livinière and is a deep purple in the glass.  The wine opens to aromatics of pepper and spice, but mostly spice.  The underlying fruit is ripe, fresh and fruity.  The palate is full bodied and the length and savoury balance satisfying.   Rating: Good. Abv: 14%. Price: N/A. Source: Sample.

Some good new release McLaren Vale grenache from d’Arenberg

Here are six new release wines from d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale that are between $15 and $29.  All of the wines were tasted blind, and the two grenache based wines stood out for their quality.  This tasting confirmed my view that the best grenache departs from the primary fruit/jube/high alcohol renditions of this grape variety, and presents almost like a different grape variety grown in the right places and raised by the right hands.  It also provided further evidence to support my view that grenache is a jewel in d’Arenberg’s offering.  
Grenache and blends
The Derelict Vineyard McLaren Vale Grenache 2013
This wine has good intensity of colour for a grenache.  It opens to quite attractive smokey aromas.  The palate is sweet fruited with dark plums, licorice and eucalyptus in the background.  There is towards long length on the finish, firm tannins (for grenache) and a not unattractive bitter character. This is an interesting and complex wine that it is a very good example of McLaren Vale grenache. $29 is well spent on this wine. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.2%. Price: $29.

The Bonsai Vine McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2015
Here’s another good grenache, this time a GSM blend. Medium intensity of colour.  The aromas of this wine are quite jammy, with plum and popcorn oak notes. But mostly of primary fruit. The palate is medium to full bodied with quite fine tannins and medium length.  Rating: Good to Very Good. Alc 13%. Price: $29
Whites
Lucky Lizard Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016
Switching now to chardonnay.  Lemon in colour.  Pleasant aroma of lemons and florals. The palate is dry with a touch of oak influence. Mediumish body and acidity. Nice length and a very light spritz to freshen palate. A sound chardonnay. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.7%. Price: $25.
Hermit Crab McLaren Vale Viogner Marsanne 2016
Very fragrant with mandarin, herbal, sauvignon like aromas and green apple suggestions.  A smidgen of oak is there.  The palate is dry, medium bodied with talc and almond notes and some spritz and gentle length on the finish. Hard to fault at $15. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.3%. Price: $15.
Shiraz and cabernet

The Footbolt McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015 
This is deeply coloured next to the grenache. There is an aroma of cedar, herbs and cedar. There some evidence of oak, some new. The palate reminds of olive and mint characters.  Acids and tannins present firmly.  Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $18


The High Trellis McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Deep colour. It opens to aromas of olive and brine, and initially proves quite pungent. Varietal characters of earth and licorice emerge with time in the glass. The palate is full bodied, the length quite good, and tannins quite overt and powdery.  Decanting recommended. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Alc: 14.8%. Price: $18.

6 new release Australian reds

Following from my earlier tasting of six new release Australian whites, today I tasted through six new release Australian reds between $16 and $29, all blind. In a difficult group, there were no particular threads.
Blue Wren No716 Single Vineyard Merlot
Neither vintage nor region are clearly declared on this bottle, although my guesses are 2016 and Mudgee. Savoury, oak and smoke aromas. Smoke and spice on the palate, supplemented by sweet fruited cherries. The tannins are powdery and there is evident spritz in the glass. A bit clumsy in all (in my opinion), with an acidic finish. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13.5%. Price: N/A. Source: Sample.
Riddock Coonawarra Merlot 2015
Deep colour with restrained and savoury impression. Muted in aroma – blackcurrants mostly. Full body, spice and plums on the palate. Some evidence of oak, but not overly so. Length good, but acid impression affects the balance on the finish. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 15%. Price: $20. Source: Sample.
Craftsman Rich & Smooth Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Deeply coloured, this wine has restrained aromatics of plum, anise and varnish. The palate is full bodied and the tannins drying. Astringent acidity on the finish detracted from this wine. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $16. Source: Sample.
Riddock Coonawarra Shiraz 2015
This was the second best wine of the group. Pronounced aromas of mint and eucalyptus. Could only be Australian. Balanced palate with sweet, minty fruit and mid range length. A sound expression of Coonawarra shiraz, and a region/grape variety combination that is underrated. Rating: Good. Abv: 15%. Price: $20. Source: Sample.
d’Arenberg The Galvo Garage Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Petit Verdot McLaren Vale 2013
Deeply coloured with a sweet expression of blackcurrant, vanilla and cedar. Pronounced in expression and plummy. The tannins are drying but in all a sound wine. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 14.4%. Price: $29. Source: Sample.
Mitchell Clare Valley Mataro Grenache 2012
This wine was the best of the set. Lighter in colour, with an orange rim. It opens to restrained aromatics of cherry, earth and tobacco. The palate is towards full bodied, with fine tannins and a touch of bitterness on the finish. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.8%. Price: $25. Source: Sample.

d’Arenberg, the big guns: Coppermine Road, Dead Arm and Ironstone Pressings 2014 vintage releases

Here are notes of the soon to be released d’Arenberg “icon” wines from the 2014 vintage.  The 2014 vintage in McLaren Vale is described as being difficult – a dry and windy spring, a January heatwave, a February deluge and then cooler weather.  I generally back the very good producers to handle well the more challenging years.  To that end, some very good wines have been made, the highlight being the Ironstone Pressings.

Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
This is the best Coppermine Road I have encountered at release.  Saturated in colour, it has aromatics of cloves and bay leaf.  The palate is full bodied with firm dry tannins, good length and blackcurrants on the finish.  A wine for the cellar.  (Region: McLaren Vale, Rating: Very Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: 2022+, Tasted: June, 2017, Source: Sample)

Dead Arm Shiraz 2014
This seems a quite northern Rhône style Dead Arm, by which I mean it has more game and leather characters than saturated fruit.  It has aromatics of pepper, plums, anise and game.  The palate has long length, balance and a youthful expression of leather and game.  (Region: McLaren Vale, Rating: Very Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: now to 2027+, Tasted: June, 2017, Source: Sample)

*Ironstone Pressings Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2014
I’ll say it again.  D’Arenberg consistently produce serious outstanding grenache from McLaren Vale.  The Ironstone Pressings is a blend of grenache (72%), shiraz (25%) and mourvèdre (3%).  The 2014 vintage has aromatics of earth, mulberries and plum skins.  The tannins are textural and the length long.  Built to last and delicious now.  (Region: McLaren Vale, Rating: Outstanding, Would I buy it based on this tasting? Yes, Drink: now to 2027+, Tasted: June, 2017, Source: Sample)

Read more: 
www.darenberg.com.au

Other vintages reviewed:

Vintage – Dead Arm Rating Review
2013
Outstanding
2012
Very Good
2011
Good to Very Good
2010
Outstanding
2006
Very Good
Vintage – Coppermine Road Rating Review
2013
Very Good
2012
Very Good
2011
Very Good to Outstanding
2010
Very Good
Vintage – Ironstone Pressings Rating Review
2013
Very Good
2012
Very Good
2011
Good to Very Good
2010
Good to Very Good