One of the best deals of 2008. It may only be early January, but this will be one of the great deals of the year. Wine Exchange in Los Angeles had this for under $40 a bottle — about $25 off a bottle. The also have the D’Harry’s Shiraz Grenache for under $10 — more than half of retail price.
D’Arenberg is one of the world’s greatest producers — not just Australia. All of their wines are wonderful — and it is very difficult to do better than D’Arenberg at the $12-$14 price point.
Dollar for dollar, my favorite D’Arenberg wine is the Laughing Magpie. The 2005 is 94% shiraz and 6% viognier — and Parker’s review is right on the mark in terms of the wine’s attributes.
In terms of their other wines, the Hermit Crab is a great viognier/marsanne blend and the Stump Jump is probably the world’s best GSM for the dollar at around $10 a bottle.
It’s hard to find a better producer from top to bottom of their entire portfolio — these wines are worth seeking out for any budget.
“D’Arenberg’s most famous wine is its flagship, The Dead Arm Shiraz. The 2005 The Dead Arm Shiraz is sourced from ancient head-pruned vines. It was aged for 22 months in a mix of new and used French and American oak. It is opaque purple/black with an expansive perfume of toast, smoke, spice box, mineral, pencil lead, tar, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry. Full-bodied, opulent, and super-concentrated, this structured, lengthy wine will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring and drink well through 2025. D’Arenberg has been owned and operated by the Osborn family since its inception in 1912. The portfolio, with a focus on Rhone varietals, is wide-ranging and value-oriented from top to bottom.”
The Laughing Magpie Shiraz/Viognier 2005
“Year in and year out, one of the most exotic, flamboyant, and sexiest cuvees in the d’Arenberg portfolio is The Laughing Magpie Shiraz/Viognier. The 2005 exhibits a spring flower garden-like character interwoven with blackberries, creme de cassis, melted licorice, and sweet, toasty new oak. Opulent and voluptuous, with silky tannin, and a plump, fleshy, rich, full-bodied personality, this offering is meant to be consumed over the next 5-8 years.” – Robert Parker, 93 points!