Wine Advocate # 186. Dec 2009. Reviewer : Jay Miller. The 2008 The Hermit Crab is a blend of 72% Viognier and 28% Marsanne. The aromatics offer floral notes, honey, candle wax, and peach. Smooth-textured and ripe, the wine also has excellent depth and length. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years.
- Country: Australia
- Wine Region: South Australia
- Wine Area: McLaren Vale
- Wine Maker: Chester d’Arenberg Osborn
- Grape: Viognier
- Grape Percentage: 72% Viognier, 28% Marsanne
- Alcohol Percentage: 13%
- Unit Quantity (ml): 750
- Best To Drink: Drink Now
The nose is expressive and rich with orange peel, candied ginger and citrus blossom complimenting the varietal apricot character. The Marsanne shows itself in the peach and nutty complexity which is married nicely with an appealing straw like vegetal character. The palate has a lovely balance of sweetness, palate weight and acidity. Lemon and lime characters are prominent on the luscious palate with a lively granny smith apple acidity providing great focus. With some bottle age the stone fruit characters become more prominent with less emphasis on the citrus spectrum. This wine will drink well until 2013.
The d’Arenberg Winery has its roots in 1912, when Joseph Osborn purchased Milton Vineyards in McLaren Vale. The business has remained in the family ever since, at first selling grapes to local wineries, but by 1928 they were vinifying the harvest themselves...
Tasted May 2011. A white Rhône blend with lots of alcohol and glycerine. Big and round, and rather metallic on the end. When to drink : 2011 to 2013.
Re 2008. Issue: Nov 30, 2009. This silky white shows spicy pear and floral notes that mingle nicely on the finish. Drink now. –HS. Score: 88. Re 2009. Issue: Jul 31, 2010. Very pretty, with floral, passion fruit and pineapple aromas and flavors up front. Settles into an apricot silkiness on the finish. Drink now. –HS. Score: 90.
Re 2008. Jul/Aug 09. By Josh Raynolds. (A 72/28 blend). Light, bright gold. Pungent aromas of tangerine, poached pear and floral honey over a subtle underpinning of minerals. Supple, gently sweet orchard fruit and melon flavors are firmed by a citrus zest quality and pick up an exotic floral note on the back end. This juicy, fruit-driven wine will work well with spicy foods. 89pts. Re 2009. Jul/Aug 10. By Josh Raynolds. (A 72/28 blend). Light gold. Really showing its viognier today, with scents of white peach, pear, honey and baking spices. Juicy pit fruit flavors become firmer in the middle, with tangy acidity providing lift. A touch dry on the finish but provides excellent palate coverage and lingers with intense minerality. 89pts.
Wine Enthusiast, wineenthusiast.com, (5/1/2011), 87pts (2009) –"The Hermit Crab is a plump, medium-bodied blend of Viognier (72%) and Marsanne (28%). Although it retains some Viognier-like elements of melon fruit and fullness of texture, some of the variety’s distinctiveness appears to have been blended away by the Marsanne, leaving a less expressive but still nicely balanced and more versatile white wine."— J.C.
thewinegang.com, 88pts (2008) -"D’Arenberg’s Chester Osborn is known for the quality of his wines and the matchless gaudiness of his Hawaiian shirts, but don’t let the latter put you off the typically inventive blend of northern Rhône white varieties, making as it does for a rich marzipan and dried apricot scented white full of almost off-dry peachy opulence and flavour."
James Halliday, winecompanion.com.au, 88pts (2008) –“Has more weight than the Money Spider, the viognier fleshing out the palate - but it does end up with a degree of anonymity. Screwcap. Drink 2012."
Gary Walsh, winefront.com.au, 88pts (2008) –“Ripe tangerine, apricot, honeysuckle and citrus. It’s big on flavour, almost a syrup of fruit, lightly viscous, but balanced by decent acidity, closing with a touch of dried herb and ginger spice (not Posh). At the price very good and a fair old mouthful of wine (based on the supposition that you actually like Viognier). Drink : 2009 - 2011."
The grapes were passed through the gentle Demoisy rubber toothed crusher before being basket pressed. Fermentation was long and moderately cool to retain fresh fruit characters. About 6% underwent wild fermentation for extra complexity. 22% of the Viognier was fermented in aged French and American Oak to add mouth feel and support the subtle Viognier tannins. 22% in old French and American oak barriques.