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D'Arenberg - The Old Bloke & The Three Young Blondes 2011

Red Wine from South Australia · Australia
Price: £79.00
Case Rate: £79.00
Ex Tax: £54.17
Country:
Australia
Wine Region: South Australia
Wine Area: McLaren Vale
Grape: Shiraz/Syrah
Grape Percentage: Shiraz (91%) Roussanne (3%) Viognier (3%) Marsanne (3%)
Alcohol Percentage: 14.5%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
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95 pts  Wine Advocate/Robert Parker
Country:
Australia
Wine Region: South Australia
Wine Area: McLaren Vale
Grape: Shiraz/Syrah
Grape Percentage: Shiraz (91%) Roussanne (3%) Viognier (3%) Marsanne (3%)
Alcohol Percentage: 14.5%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750

Description

The Old Bloke is a Shiraz dominant blend with Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne, three white Rhone varieties that d'Arenberg planted in McLaren Vale in the 1990's. These 'young blondes' add fragrance, spice and length to the 'old bloke', which is sourced from d'Arenberg's oldest Shiraz vines. Some might joke that the old bloke is Chester, and the three young blondes are his daughters, the fifth generation who will carry on the d'Arenberg tradition.Each of these title characters are represented on the label as a cut out silhouette. Much like the wine itself, the four personalities are 'blended' together by being overlayed one on top of the other, each creating a window to the next and achieving an effect of tactility and depth.

 

Wine tasting notes

A serious wine that demands attention. An infusion of spice and earth and ashen notes cede over time to sweet mulberry, blackcurrant, liquorice and fennel aromas. The white varieties appear subtly, more through exotic complexity than presenting any obvious white wine character. The palate starts taut, again leaning towards fresh turned earth, crushed ants and a cedary, leafy herbalness, before slowly unfurling into more opulent rich plums, pastille fruit and spice. The depth of flavour is impressive despite initially being so tightly wound. A framework of fine mineral tannins adds a bit of tension to the finish that promises a mighty long existence if cellared appropriately. Classic d’Arenberg.

Winery information

D'Arenberg

One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.

Expert reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2011) - 95 pts

It takes guts to make and sell a $200 wine from what is probably the worst recent vintage in South Australia. The 2011 The Old Bloke & Three Young Blondes contains 2.5% each of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, with the balance being Shiraz. It hints at violets, stone fruit and black olive on the nose, then delivers dense, concentrated, savory notes on the velvety, full-bodied palate. It seems a bit brooding, but it livens up on the peppery-spicy finish - Joe Czerwinski


James Halliday (2011) - 94 pts

A 91/3/3/3% blend. I simply shake my head in wonder at the accusations of sexism generated by this clever label, and indeed wonder if it isn't a clever move by d'Arenberg designed to draw attention to the label (and this wine). For the record, as it were, there is a complex array of juicy red and black fruits with a crosscut of fine, leathery tannins. - James Halliday

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Vinification notes

Small batches of Shiraz grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to open fermenters, the skins of the white grapes are co-fermented with this Shiraz. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is basket pressed and transferred to old French oak to complete fermentation. The finished wine is then aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.