Wednesday, February 22, 2012

D'Arenberg Riesling

I grabbed tonight's bottle as a bit of harbinger of days to come. First off, I think d'Arenberg will have to be one of our winery stops when Boo and I hit South Australia next month. Secondly, this was a bottle that I picked up at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival a couple of years back. The 2012 Festival is just around the corner and I thought letting Boo taste one of my past finds might help loosen the "No Buy Leash" during the Festival.

I love d'Arenberg's colourful and witty labels. Every wine seems to have a brilliant story behind the name and there are plenty of them. As one of the twelve First Families of Australia, I think it's safe to say that it's not all just about the marketing either. These folks make good wine and make a serious commitment to Aussie wine and the engagement of the rest of the world in learning about the diversity of Australian regions and wines.

1068. 2008 d'Arenberg - The Dry Dam Riesling (McLaren Vale - Australia)

d'Arenberg has a strong presence in the Vancouver market. Their basic Stump Jump red and white are staples on many a restaurant wine list because of their great value for price ratio. Every so often, we run across their more premium wines at Australia Wine Appreciation Society tastings as well. Then there's Tyrant. He's brought along some d'Arenberg icons that he's collected over the years to various dinners and we've all benefitted from his foresight and good taste.

Although it's relatively easy to find d'Arenberg wines in Vancouver, The Dry Dam Riesling is part of d'Arenberg's mid-range label and I'm not sure that it's one that regularly makes an appearance in Vancouver. With approximately 48 different wines being produced, not all d'Arenberg wines are going to be found on our shelves.

I'm glad they brought this one to the Playhouse Festival though. Regular readers will know that I'm a Riesling lovin' kinda guy. That being said, Aussie rieslings aren't generally my faves. I often find the overall Aussie style for Riesling to be big citrus notes, high acidity and plenty of minerality and it can all be a little too bracing. Not this one. The tell mark Aussie notes were still there but they were reigned in some and there were even notes of stone fruit coming through. I dare say that I could go so far as to state that I even noticed a hint of residual sugar.

This is a Riesling I could go back to. I don't know if it was just the taste of a one-off vintage but I'm rather eager to find out if this is d'Arenberg's regular flavour profile for The Dry Dam. I just have to find some more.

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