Sunday, January 23, 2011

d'Arenberg The Stump Jump McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2008

I haven't tried any of d'Arenberg's high-end wines; they are out of my price range. However, the medium-priced d'Arenberg wines ($14 to $18) such as d'Arry's Original and The Footbolt Shiraz are some of my favorites from Down Under. The Stump Jump wines (Shiraz, Grenache and Shiraz/Grenache) are all about $10 a bottle, and I like the straightforward, fruit-oriented approach. The fruit is not exceptional; you can't expect that at this price point. But, unlike many inexpensive Australian wines, there is no attempt to hide flaws under a layer of new oak.

Deep and dark, Syrah-like./ Berries, spice and herbs./ Friendly McLaren Vale fruit presence. Not much, if any, oak. 14.5% alcohol but it doesn't show much. Finish is ripe and berried. There is a fairly strong herbaceous streak in this wine that is more like French Syrah with none of the thick, jamminess that's associated with Australian Shiraz

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