Top drop… Wine of the week(end)… d’Arenberg

Hand made takes on new meaning at d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale…

2014 d’Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon $21-$24

Winemaker Toby Porter once told me he sometimes wished winemaking was easier, quickly adding that the rewards always outweigh the painstaking, time consuming, hands on work. His job is certainly not an easy one. A winemaker at the well known family owned winery, d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale, South Australia, he is incredibly hands-on – every single wine made there is produced not in a modern press but in a basket press. That’s no mean feat when production is relatively high, prices are relatively low and quality is uniformly above par – if you had to name a great Australian GSM (Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre blend) that’s worth beating a path to and possible to find without too much hassle, d’Arenberg it is. But this winery makes a wide range of wines and this deeply coloured Cabernet Sauvignon is so concentrated in fruit flavour, notes of cedar and oak nicely integrated into its impressive big bodied style that it’s remarkable to find it so accessibly priced.

My role… 

There’s something indulgent in talking about someone else’s hard work as a ‘wine of the week(end)’ but… someone has to do it and it’s a privilege not lost on yours truly.

Thanks to…

Toby and the d’Arenberg team for an insightful conversation over lunch in Wellington over a year ago now. And thanks to Negociants NZ for importing these exceptional wines to New Zealand.


Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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