Monday, January 25, 2021

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab McLaren Vale Viognier Marsanne, 2018

 Both of the grapes used in this wine are from the Northern Rhone. Viognier is used for Condrieu; Marsanne, for white Hermitage. The grapes and the wines made from them couldn't be more different. Viognier is bright and floral; one of the stock descriptors for Marsanne is glue (not meant to be negative). Somehow, if you can imagine it, this wine captures both the spring flowers and the glue: bright and floral but also broad and strong.

Brilliant yellow, very attractive. Also very aromatic: spring flowers, apricots, spice and, yes, a hint of Elmer's glue, workmanlike and serious. On the palate, the same contrast: bright acid with broad undertones and a bigger body than you might expect from the flowery top notes. This wine is unlike any wine I have ever tasted from the Northern Rhone, but it is quite enjoyable.

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