Sometimes when you look at the vast array on offer on the wine list, you thank your small mercies for a trusted old friend that rears up at you, saying “pick me, pick me”.
So, I did!
d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache 2010, about $16 pretty much everywhere. Unless its on a wine list, in which case it could, and will, be a whole lot more!!
Confession first, I have a very soft spot for d’Arenberg, and more particularly the Original, which used to be called Burgundy. So, yep, I love this humble wine which has never failed to please and impress. What used to be predominately Grenache, now has plenty of Shiraz for the younger set, but this is still an old fashioned wine with plenty of tannin, grip, and old school ‘get down & dirty’ to it.
Grenache is quite popular in the McLaren Vale, as in the Barossa, and is usually blended, most often with Shiraz and Mourvedre, becoming GSM. Sometimes its a straight varietal wine, which can be a bit course and tannic, unless done well which quite a few do. Obviously this one drops the ‘M’, but suffers little for the omission.
d’Arry Osborn is the father of the current winemaker, Chester, and he is still very much involved in the whole process. d’Arry’s a ripper fella, old school 101, but with plenty of modern touches to keep relevant, and Chester has taken the winery to another level, adding his own personality, of which there is plenty.
I knew Chester when he was a young buck terrorising the McLaren Vale in his clapped out Porsche 911 , hair everywhere, a drink in both hands! Where d’Arry was Principal Skinner, Chester was Bart! Not sure he’s grown up, but his winemaking chops certainly have.
I love family wineries, the history is fascinating and the wines seem to reflect the passion of those before, an understanding of the terrior, a feel for the environment and an ability to portray the sense of family, and the connection between them and the consumer.
We who share are all part of that extended family!
My only complaint would be about the back label, and all their back labels in fact, which tend towards Tolstoy! Way too much information people.
If that’s all I can find in the negative then d’Arenburg will continue to keep the Osborn family employed for generations to come.
So as you can see from the photo, my oldest friend trusts d’Arry, and he’s pointing at you….so get on it!