Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
d'Arenberg own and manage nearly a third of all the old Grenache bush vines in McLaren Vale. The very first instalment by d'Arenberg to display the famous red stripe was a Grenache wine, it has been a variety central to the estate portfolio ever since. During the 1980s, d'Arenberg resisted taking part in the great government sanctioned vine pull out scheme which proved to be disastrously short sighted and an assault on national treasure. Their faith in the wizzened old vines of McLaren Vale has bestowed upon d'Arenberg the accolade of Custodian.
The finest small batch Grenache parcels are passed through a gentle Demoisy crusher, leaving many of the berries whole. Fruit is transferred to open fermenters where seeds and skins are permanently submerged beneath the free run juice. When tannin extraction is just right, Custodian is basket pressed and transferred to a mix of seasoned and new French and American oak barriques for completion of ferments and a course of malolactic. Components are matured nine months on lees to slow the ageing and keep the wine fresher while also reducing influence of oak. Chester and the team undertake an extensive barrel tasting to determine the final assemblage, to be bottled without fining or filtration.
Intensely coloured, cherry red hue. Black forest berries, woody spices and soil like notes slowly give way to brighter undertones of raspberry, blueberry and florals. The palate tells a slightly different story with a raft of red fruit characters such as raspberry and stewed rhubarb paired with an almost cranberry like acidity. The tannins are verging on gritty, in a tantalizing sense.