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d'Arenberg The Anthropocene Epoch 2017 £16.95
D'ARENBERG THE ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH
The evidence of humanity's impact on the planet is so overwhelming, experts have recommended the declaration of a new geological time, the Anthropocene Epoch. Starting from 1950, this new age is defined by nuclear tests, plastic pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. Investing in many projects with environmental benefits, d'Arenberg actively seeks to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth.
A healthy winter and plenty of spring rains set the vines up very well. Budburst was on time, but very cool for the first part of spring. Shoots grew to 5 or 6 inches long and then stopped for a month. Flowering was quite late, by three weeks, which meant a late start to harvest, and long, slow ripening periods. The summer rains stopped in mid-January, so disease pressure was low. It was very dry from February to April, with only a few millimetres of rain. Days were mild with a lot of cool nights, the first few weeks of April was around two degrees hotter than usual, which help that last bit of fruit to ripen. Overall, a great vintage with minimal disease pressure and above-average crop levels.
Walking the vineyard rows and tasting grapes, fourth-generation family member, Chester Osborn, determines the ideal picking time for each individual vineyard. Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to open fermenters. 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 and mature for nine months.
Fresh, vibrant, aromatic and simply jumping out of the glass. Be swept away with the wonderfully fruity notes, mulberry and plum, a suggestion of raspberry and strawberry and an ever so delicate hint of fine white pepper. Light on its feet but full of pure fruit flavour. A silky mid-palate gives way to fine, spicy tannins on the finish. Bottled early to capture all of those delightfully youthful characters. A red wine that can be enjoyed in any weather, don't hesitate to put a very slight chill on it
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