2012 d'Arenberg "Custodian" Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Ah, how much is this wine worth when d'Arenberg has two '12 Single Vineyard grenaches at $103 each? A more difficult question for those single vineyard wines than this, which is a drop-dead bargain, its purple fruit flavours given shape and persistence by fine-grained, savoury/earthy tannins and 9 months in used oak.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pale to medium ruby/purple, the 2012 The Custodian Grenache reveals aromas of crushed black raspberries and black cherries with roses and earth nuances. Medium to full-bodied, the palate ripe, silky and seductive palate finishes with good length. (LPB)
Vivid ruby. Deeply pitched black raspberry and cherry compote scents are energized by a suggestion of cracked pepper. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, offering ripe red and dark berry flavors and a building element of medicinal bitterness. The gently tannic finish display resonating spiciness and very good persistence. (JR)
Wine & Spirits
From Chester Osborn's collection of old-vine grenache, this is a brisk, floral, red-berried wine with a shivering elegance to its structure. It tastes like it grows near the sea. Decant it for most anything off the grill.
Winemaker's Notes: "During the vine pull scheme of the early 1980's d'Arry Osborn refused to touch his old Grenache vineyards. When his son Chester started in the business as Chief Winemaker in 1984 he set about acquiring more old vine Grenache grapes and vineyards at a time when it was considered un-fashionable. Today d'Arenberg is the keeper of nearly one third of McLaren Vale's old bush vine Grenache and has earned the title of 'Custodian' of the variety. Small batches of grapes are crushed gently and then transferred to five tonne 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 new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation.It can be hard to find a wine that will appeal to casual wine drinkers looking for something fruit driven and light on its feet, but also to more serious wine connoisseurs, who value subtle complexities and an ability to age. The 2012 Custodian offers just that with its pure fruit characters of mulberry, plum and blueberry complimented with a range of more savoury flavours, such as beetroot, cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate, while displaying great depth, is medium bodied and svelte. It is defined by velvety tannins that turn slightly gritty towards the finish, guaranteeing the wine’s longevity."