Last month we opened a bottle of the 1999 D’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings. We’ve actually been
storing the ‘99 for about five years (or so) and it was with some anticipation that we decanted it for
a special dinner.
The ‘99 was a fine drop, with a very delicate and sweet bouquet. The smooth finish was
complimented by a tannin and current taste, accentuated with subtle fruits. We really, really love
the way D’Arenberg does Grenache, and the Coppermine (being a Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre
blend) is so well crafted.
D’Arenberg continues to produce excellent wine, and the 2006 vintage promises to be an excellent
choice for mid to longer term cellaring.
Here’s the notes from D’Arenberg on the latest release, the outstanding 2006 vintage.
Two evenings ago we cracked open a bottle of Henchke’s famous ‘Cyril’ label which is a fine Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) blend balanced with a hint of Merlot (15%) and Cabernet Franc (15%) and grown in the beautiful Eden Valley in South Australia, and matured for two years prior to bottling.
The wine is, of course, named for the well respected winemaker Cyril Henschke (1924-1979) who pioneered the early Australian wine vintages in the early 20th century. It is one of my favourite Australian Cabernet blends and normally matures well with extended cellaring.
The ‘99 we opened had a fairly large amount of sediment, and as such had to be filtered carefully into the Riedel decanter. We let the wine oxidize for about an hour prior to pouring the first glasses (into proper Bordeaux style glasses).
The first observation was the colour – very deep and dark red in colour, with a slight nose and delicate fragrance. This wine certainly benefits from aging (we previously tasted the ‘99 in 2006) and three years later (in 2009) the wine is still awash with blackcurrant but gains a much more pronounced texture and complexity.
Finish is gentle and well balanced, a great wine for those would appreciate a finely balanced Cabernet. Served with lamb shanks and vegetables, not quite the best food-wine paring ever (probably better matched to a drop of Shiraz), but enjoyable nonetheless.