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Chester Osborne is a man of wild phantasies. Some of these have been incorporated in the Cube, one particular of the most revolutionary wine tasting buildings I have encountered. It has undoubtedly been the speak of McLaren Vale, if not Australia in the final couple of years. Fittingly, as I visited, it also housed a Salvador Dali sculpture exhibition.


At the identical time, Chester Osborne is quite significant about winemaking, and in specific terroir. As we share these interests, he organized a tasting of eight elements of the Dead Arm, d’Arenberg’s flagship wine. These elements come from unique vineyards, all somewhat close to the winery, and identified as district 10 and 17 in the scarce earth system. 

The geology plays a main part in McLaren Vale, in contrast to say, the Barossa Valley, exactly where soil is the dominant ground aspect. This is since there are regions exactly where the soil is very shallow, and the geology varies in age drastically involving districts.

Wild imagery does not quit at the Cube. The wines I tasted, which can be purchased separately, have names such as Fruit Bat, The Swinging Malaysian, Dipsomaniac, The Sardanapalian and so on. As these wines are very uncommon, I will not assessment them separately. They had been all from the 2012 vintage.

A popular trait, and a d’Arenberg signature, is the firm and generally coarse tannin structure. Apart from that, these wines had been very unique from every single other in flavour and texture. There had been a quantity of influencing elements: age of the geology, soil, age of the wines (some 25, some 50 years old) and aspect. Some common observations

– Red brown earth developed a larger mouthfeel and blocky tannins as opposed to limestone

– The 50 year old vines expressed far more spice and earthy flavours

– Sand on sandstone delivered silkier, far more sophisticated wines with a lengthy finish

These variations had been as anticipated, which is a great point.

My favored was the 2012 Sardanapalian, from a vineyard on 56 million year old sandstone (this is old) and sandy soils. The vines had been only 25 years old. It had exciting savoury flavours, some mint and rhubarb. This is an sophisticated wine with a silky and lengthy finish.

I would price all the wines tasted in the 91-94 point variety.

The one particular completed wine I tasted was the 2016 The Ironstone Pressing, d’Arenberg’s top GSM. It has very a robust raspberry flavour, but is not overwhelmingly sweet. The firm, but fine tannins lead to a lengthy finish (94 points).