Category Archives: McLaren Vale

2009 d’Arenberg ‘The Sticks & Stones’


Tonight accompanied by a spicy spaghetti bolognaise, AWG and family sat down to enjoy a glass or two of the 2009 d’Arenberg “Sticks & Stones” from McLaren Vale in South Australia.

This spicy blend marries some intriguing grape varieties – grenache, temperanillo, souzao and tintacao to splendid effect.  This young, vibrant wine created a very bold, juicy bouquet which almost overpowered the glass.


As expected, the wine itself matched the impact of the bouquet, with a very long and tennin filled body, smokey with currants and heavy (and spicy) fruits, like a young Shiraz, but sculptured by the grenache.

This will be enjoyed thoroughly by those who treasure young Shiraz, Durif or those who like to pair red wine to spicy food.  Would keep for up to 5-8 years easily.


A Weekend Tasting


Last weekend we hosted a friend visiting from China.  Amongst the various tourist options – sightseeing, scrumptious meals and enjoying the countryside – we, of course, took to tasting some Australian wine.

Included in the tasting were three indigenous varieties – a Riesling from Adelaide Hills (Wicks Estate “18 degrees C”), a Shiraz Grenache from McLaren Vale (D’Arenberg “d’Arry’s Original”) and lastly a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc also from Adelaide Hills (Pirramimma) – which means it was a complete South Australian experience.

The “18 Degrees C” Riesling had a very brusk mineral tasting streak to it, savoury but refreshing. 

The d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache – of D’Arenberg fame -being almost 10 years old, had an amazing blend of flavours with a slightly chalky body with lingering hints of liquorish, appearing to be paying off that medium term of cellaring.

Lastly, the late harvest Sauvignon Blanc contained the requisite sugary undertones, but without the typical abundance of sweetness you often find with botrytis sticky – very much in the same category as the Canberra region’s Lark Hill with their Auslese Riesling, but with a very tiny hint of passionfruit.