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Australia - South Australia - McLaren Vale - d'Arenberg

This is a great winery to visit for lunch. Their food is spectacular and if you can eat on the terrace you get a great view over the McLaren Vale hills. I highly recommend a visit. With lunch I had a pairing of two flights of their top-end wines, a white flight and a red one.

2005 "The Hermit Crab" Viognier Marsanne
Straw colored. Nose reminded me a lot of chardonnay. Nice acid and a very long finish. Definitely a food wine. Went wonderfully with the Snapper Broth with Ginger Foam and Shrimp/Tofu Dumplings. Although there was a collision with the ginger in my Butter Poached Freshwater Lobster Medallion with Crab, Ginger, and Scallion Ravioli dish. AU$11.80

2006 "The Money Spider" Roussanne
Pale straw colored. Nice spicy nose reminds me of watermelon rind. Very smooth, less acid than "The Hermit Crab." Hints of honeydew. Has a sweet taste with the lobster. Good stuff.

2006 "The Last Ditch" Viognier
Straw colored. Nicely floral but not delicate. Nose is very strong orange spice cake smelling. Tastes like apricot or dried stone fruit. Went very well with the lobster. My favorite of the whites tasted.

2004 "The Ironstone Pressings" Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre
Very dark colored, looks concentrated. Nose has very strong cassis flavor, maybe a bit harsh. WOW, really complex flavors. The flavors change many times in your mouth. It has a very long finish with tons of flavors starting out with spice to orange zest to blueberry. Easy tannins. Really good with smoked tomatoes. Dies very quickly in the glass though, don't let it air, drink right after opening. Great stuff, my favorite wine of the day. AU$65

2004 "The Coppermine Road" Cabernet Sauvignon
Again, looks very concentrated, dense and unfiltered. Big licorice on the nose. Nice cedary tannin. Dark chocolate and dark berry flavors. AU$65

2004 "The Dead Arm" Shiraz
Once again, very dark, very concentrated looking, almost inky. The nose has a sweet fruity hint. Very smooth, strong cherry up-front taste. Candied orange rind on the finish. My second favorite wine at this meal. Went beautifully with the Filet Mignon. AU$65

2005 "Feral Fox" Pinot Noir
This wasn't part of the tasting with my meal but I had to give it a try. It had a classic brick red color. The nose was strong on red raspberries. It's a french-style pinot with that barnyard thing going on. Hints of chocolate, almost no fruit. Needs to breath a good while. A touch of heat. Not my favorite kind of pinot. AU$30

Old Bride Cellars in Napa is d'Arenberg's U.S. importer.

Posted by Bruce on February 27, 2007 4:48 AM

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