2008 d'Arenberg "Footbolt" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $16)

SKU #1061622

90 points from James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion: "Deep colour; licorice, bitter chocolate and a distinct aroma of candle wax combine on the bouquet; the palate is rich, warm and inviting, with lavish levels of sweet fruit the central theme of the wine." (Aug 2010) 89 points Wine Spectator: "A savory style, with pepper and tobacco character overshadowing the dark plum and berry fruit, but it all comes together deftly on the finish. Drink now through 2013." (06/10) According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jul/Aug 10: "Bright violet. Initially reduced nose of dark berry skin and cherry pit opens up with aeration to offer spicy floral and dark fruit scents and a hint of licorice. Wound pretty tight today and slow to offer much beyond primary fruit in the mouth. Finishes with good grip and focus, repeating the dark fruit skin notes. This needs some time to settle down but there appears to be a lot of fruit here." And from the Wine Enthusiast: "Full bodied, lush and slightly liquorous in style, the 2008 Footbolt is also packed with peppery, slightly herbal balckberry fruit. There's also a hint of menthol. Drink it over the next 12 months." (02/11)

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Price: $9.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/5/2010 | Send Email
With the exception of the “Stump Jump” Shiraz, Chester Osborn manages to make the wines in this tier in the tradition of his icon wines, in that they have the hallmark “fine grained powdery tannins.” I guess it should not come as such a surprise given his strict selection of juice from the “Dead Arm” vineyard, which makes his flagship Shiraz, that some of it trickles down to this wine. Scents of cedar, violets, mixed berry fruit and spice all marry and emerge from the glass. The palate brings notes of blueberry, plum, mocha, a light ferrous quality, meat and a hint of pencil lead. All of this is framed by you guessed it, “fine powdery tannins” with good acidity and a long balanced finish.

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

McLaren Vale

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5