Tuesday, April 26, 2016

d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original (McLaren Vale), 1994

This is a true old-fashioned Australian "Burgundy" similar to many I enjoyed during the late 1970s in Australia. At that time, this bottling was known as d'Arenberg Burgundy; and there were other Burgundies from Lindeman's, Penfolds and other producers--all selling for $3 to $4 and, as a result, heavy favorites at wine bars near Melbourne University. I suspect that all of these wines were a similar blend of old bush vine Grenache and Shiraz--Australian Chateauneufs rather than Burgundies. I loved them in the 1970s, and I am enjoying re-visiting that style tonight.

Medium deep, lots of amber. 51% Shiraz, 49% Grenache in this vintage, but the Grenache seems dominant right now. Ripe cherry. Mellow and mature. More one-dimensional than a typical Chateauneuf du Pape, but the old vine fruit is deep and leaves a lasting impression.

The winery advised 2015-2016 as prime drinking years for this wine. That advice is clearly based on old-time standards and the personality that the winemaker was seeking to create. I approve of both.

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