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From Wine & Spirits Mag's Hall of Fame

d'Arenberg is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d'Arenberg's first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale's old bush-vine Grenache. Fourth generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, recently converted all of the family's vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed--all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottlings every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine's Hall of Fame for earning a place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d'Arenberg's revered reputation worldwide.

91pts Wine Enthusiast: This 50-50 blend is firm, focused and rich, offering attractive aromas of mint, vanilla, cedar and red-skinned plums. Flavors turn darker, suggesting espresso and chocolate, but enlivened by bright acids. A wine worth holding a few years, priced at $20? Buy now, drink after 2020.

91pts Vinous: (aged in new and used French and American oak barrels) Brilliant ruby-red. Vibrant, spice-accented cherry and red berry and floral scents show very good clarity and a gentle touch of smokiness. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering appealingly sweet raspberry and cherry flavors that become spicier with air. Shows very good energy and spicy thrust on the finish, which is shaped by supple, slow-building tannins.

90pts Australian Wine Companion: The initial vintage in '64 was the first to show grenache on the label, winning seven trophies and 25 gold medals. This is an exceptionally powerful wine, with fruit, oak and above all, ripe tannins. Not in the usual style, but is likely to sing in 5-10 years. Most will have been drunk by then, of course.


The structure and dark, earthy flavour of Shiraz, paired with the fragrance and pure fruit of Grenache are the hallmarks of a great d'Arry's Original. 2013 is no exception, if anything this vintage looks bigger, darker and more concentrated than most with ripples of gritty tannin. Some sound advice would be to open this wine an hour or two before imbibing to allow the Grenache to impose its charm upon the more brooding, quintessentially McLaren Vale Shiraz. The final impression will be an infusion of ferrous and spice notes, a hint of woodsmoke and a generous volume of succulent black and purple fruits