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d'Arenberg The Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2018 £19.90
D'ARENBERG THE DERELICT VINEYARD GRENACHE
Since 1912 the Osborn family have grown grapes and made wine in the picturesque surrounds of McLaren Vale. Today fourth generation family member Chester Osborn is at the winemaking helm, making distinctive wines using traditional methods in the winery and the vineyard.
At a time when Grenache was considered unfashionable, Chester acquired much old bush vine, overgrown and abandoned vineyards. These vineyards still have a slightly dishevelled appearance, but they are back producing very low yields of exceptional fruit.
Great winter rains set the vines up well last year, followed by a very dry spring and summer with no heatwaves. The initial fruit development was fantastic, the first white grapes to be picked showed incredible levels of natural acidity coupled with good fruit ripeness, unlike anything we've seen for a long time. Just prior to picking the first red grapes there were three days of reasonably high temperatures, which accelerated sugar ripening and meant the winery was filled in record time. A lot of the red grapes from that period are particularly rich with intense tannin and dark fruit characters - a great vintage for reds and whites alike.
Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonnes headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two-thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of old French and American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
The 2013 Derelict Vineyard is simply a delicious drink, a fine example of the resurgence in popularity of McLaren Vale Grenache. The nose and palate are brimming with sweet, pure fruits. Stewed rhubarb, fresh blueberry and raspberry jubes. A faint whiff of spice and an ever so mild earthiness add complexity. Generous and juicy at first then tied together with a fine gritty tannin that adds length, savouriness and minerality.
2016 - 2020
The Wine Advocate
"Medium to deep garnet coloured, 2013 The Derelict Vineyard Grenache has a spicy, incense laced nose over a core of kirsch and raspberry preserves plus a peppery hint. Full-bodied with a solid structure of velvety tannins and plenty of freshness, it fills the mouth with berry coulis and cracked pepper flavours, finishing long."