Marsanne Viognier McLaren Vale South Australia
The close proximity of d'Arenberg's vineyards to Gulf St. Vincent means the grapes can be stimulated by gently cooling maritime breezes. Much of McLaren Vale is planted to free draining soils underlaid by limestone, formed by the calcareous remains of local marine fauna. One such creature was the Hermit Crab, a reclusive little crustacean that to this day inhabits the cast off shells of others. McLaren Vale's first ever Marsanne Viognier is named Hermit as a reference to the region in France where the Marsanne grape dominates white wines.
At vintage time, Chester Osborn chooses when to pick the fruit by walking the vineyard rows and tasting grapes. Parcels of Viognier and Marsanne are crushed and settled before being treated to a gentle basket pressing which ensures the soft extraction of delicate but defined fruit characters of each grape. The Viognier and Marsanne components receive a similar vinification but are handled separately until the final stages. Fermentations are long and moderately cool to retain fresh fruit flavour. A small percentage of the Viognier is fermented in aged French and American oak barrels to add mouth feel and support the Viognier tannins. Components are assembled after a few months maturation.
Brilliant hue with light tints. Wonderfully aromatic, heavenly lift of candied ginger and crunchy, sweet white nectarine, complex Marsanne notes of green papaya and pistachio. Stone fruits hold sway over the sumptuous attack and mid palate, nuttiness of Marsanne and a delicate hint of sea spray. The complete package of stone fruits and spice before a long savoury finish make Hermit Crab the perfect dinner party starter.