d'Arenberg The Fruit Bat Shiraz 2011
The first group of wines showed lovely flavours with tannins sitting well below the surface. This wine was no different with boot polish, dark fruits with crushed earth and mixed spices. The palate feels almost crunchy but it is long in the mouth with a soft creamy mouthfeel. The older French oak is still coming through on the palate but the wine has only just been bottled. This is a nice wine to open up the tasting. The vineyard for this wine is located on Kays Road just past the Kays winery.
Drink: In 5 years
d'Arenberg The Little Venice Shiraz 2011
While the vineyard for this wine is only 10 steps away from the above wine they couldn't taste anymore different. The savoury characters are still prominant with flavours of cranberries, red currants and red licorice standing tall. The wine pulsates on my palate with the flavours making a good entry before a little whole in the middle and a good rebound.
Drink: In 8 years
d'Arenberg The Sardanapalian 2011
This wine is more closed and tight than the previous wines but the flavours are in the more traditional McLaren Vale flavours. It is interesting that the this doesn't possess the structure like the previous two wines but is a little more giving on the palate after 30 minutes in the glass. The flavours are of cherry pie, dried roses and chocolate cake. I have never tried a wine from this vineyard but Chester said that it would normally make up a segment of the Dead Arm blend. This years was too good to blend.
Drink: in 6 years
d'Arenberg The Garden of Extraordinary Delights Shiraz 2011
This wine smells completely different in a prettier and more floral sort of a way. There are those dried cranberry notes mixed with raspberry marshmellows, French herbs and earth but they are joined by a dutch oven note. I swear I can smell it but I was sitting next to Philip White at that stage so maybe I was channeling his noting style. Out of the first 6 wines this was a stand out but the structure and flavours aren't balanced at this stage so I would give this ten before I open them. What this did possess was even flavours on a extremely long palate and acidity to die for.
Drink: From 2021
d'Arenberg The Swinging Malaysian Shiraz 2011
The oak is sitting above the fruit at the moment as the flavours are shy and withdrawn. Once they emerge they are elegant and inviting at the same time. There is a little cherry balm, iron fillings, smoked herbs and every sort of spice imaginable. The componants of acidity and tannin is beautifully balanced but they will need a decade to show themselves.
d'Arenberg The Vociferate Dipsomaniac Shiraz 2011
On the nose this smells of oak but on the palate a candied fruit character dominates. This wine tastes like it is ready to go when you compare it to all the above wines. It is also the lightest of the lot and doesn't possess the even flow and feel like the rest.
d'Arenberg Shipsters' Rapture Shiraz 2011
There is a change in the feel of the wines from here on in as they possess more tannin and fruit weight. There is plums and dried earth notes before mulberries and spice kicks in. The long palate is beautifuly balanced by the tight stucture and mouthwatering acidity. The flavours are a bit narrow at the moment but that should work itself out with time in the bottle.
d'Arenberg Eight Iron Shiraz 2011
I'm not sure if it is the name of the wine that is leading me to taste iron stone but I get that on the palate. I also get damp earth, veggy soup and spice before the flavours peel off the tongue from the mid-palate on. Not my favourite of the tasting.
Drink: Now or later
d'Arenberg The Piceous Lodestar Shiraz 2011
I really liked the profile of this wine as it possessed sugared plums, red earth, spice, licorice and wood smoked French herbs. This wine comes from the Beautiful View Vineyard which is located on the property right next to the cellar door.
d'Arenberg Tyche's Mustard Shiraz 2011
More traditional flavours of darker fruits, crushed rocks, black licorice and spice before the acidity livens up the back palate. The wine is full bodied and inviting with tannins to burn. It is funny that two or three of the wine critics talked about the huge amount of tannins that these wines possessed. I couldn't see that as I thought they were balanced by the flavours. I guess that as I have a love for Nebbiolo and Sagrantino that Shiraz tannins aren't forceful enough for me. On the other side this Shiraz is balanced and a joy to drink.
d'Arenberg The Other Side Shiraz 2011
The vines for this wine were planted in 1916 which makes this wine special to say the least. The flavours of the wine remind me of peppermint paddies like the ones you used to get when you were a kid but it is mixed with crushed quartz and smoked bark. While I don't think this is the best quality out of all the wines, I would buy this one of the unique flavours and masssive amounts of structure that it possesses. Literally the tannins stuck my upper lip to my gums and I had to get Peter Forrestal to remove them for me.
Drink: After 2031
d'Arenberg The Blind Tiger Shiraz 2011
Cool climate wine making and it is no wonder as this wine is from Blewitt Springs. There are lovely floral notes with gunsmoke, tart cranberries, Indian spices and mulberries, There are those nice earthy notes woming through before insane levels iof acidity kicks in. The name of the wine reminds me of Tiger Woods and i see a little of him in the wine; it is good looking and conservative from the outside but the core is a little dirty and sexual.
d'Arenberg The Amarantine Shiraz 2011
Oaky on the nose but it is the tannins and acidity that is most exciting. They are ferocious like a savage and primal in nature. Imagine you are taken away to a desserted island and haven't eaten any food for a week and you will get what I mean. I love the wild nature os this wine.