Over the holiday period, back in January, we opened a bottle from South Australian producer d’Arenberg – a 2009 Sticks & Stones – made up of Tempranillo (54%), Grenache (25%) Tinta Cao (17%), Souzao (4%).
Here’s the background on the name of the bottle:
The Story Behind The Name
The inspiration behind this name came from the age-old proverb ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ The unusual and quirky names that d’Arenberg’s range of wines has never done the winery any harm. We also do use sticks (vine cuttings) planted into stony soils to produce the grapes that result in this wine.
It wasn’t bad for a young-ish wine,, with hints of blackcurrant, spices (cloves), and a lively aftertaste. Good colour and decent viscosity make this a good wine to enjoy now or to cellar for quite a few more years to come.
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.