We reckon d'Arenberg are not only the masters of great wine names, but of having some of the best value/quality around. There are no shortcuts taken in the production of any of the wines – low yields, foot trodden, basket pressed all make for seriously good wines.
Crawl out of your Chardonnay, Sauvignon or Gris shell and try something a little off to the side. This Rhone blend from the McLaren Vale is just thing to keep you comfortable moving out of your comfort zone. It has delicious flavours, wonderful texture and makes for a cracking glass of wine.
The two white Rhone grape varieties marry together very well here, with the apricot stone fruit, ginger peel flavours of the Viognier being balanced by the lemon/orange pith flavours added from the Marsanne. Medium bodied with a touch of juicy acidity adding freshness.
Winery notes (2020 Vintage)
"Many of McLaren Vale’s vineyards are on free-draining soils underlain with limestone, formed by the calcareous remains of the local marine fauna. One such creature was the Hermit Crab, a reclusive little crustacean that inhabits the cast-off shells of others. The Osborn family thought the name appropriate for this, McLaren Vale’s first ever blend of Viognier and Marsanne. “Hermit” is also an abbreviation for the French appellation where the Marsanne grape variety dominates.
Small batches of grapes are crushed gently and transferred to stainless steel basket presses. Fermentation is long and moderately cool to retain fresh fruit characters. About 4% underwent wild fermentation for extra complexity. 14% of the Viognier is fermented in aged French Oak to add mouth feel and support the subtle Viognier tannins. The Marsanne component received similar treatment, but was not blended until the final stages of the winemaking process.
Pale straw in colour. A lovely perfumed orange and citrus blossom, green papaya, tropical pineapple and grapefruit notes. A slight whiff of almond kernel and hazelnut presents itself the more you swirl the wine in the glass, add a sneaky complexity. Some ginger flower spices thanks to the Viognier component. Refreshing style with great vibrancy, mouth filling generosity and lovely long finish."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
93/100 Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com (2018 Vintage)
"The Viognier leads this along with ripe apricots and ginger. The palate delivers an assertive twist of Marsanne’s lemon punch."
88/100 Campbell Mattison, The Wine Front, April 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Blend of viognier and marsanne from McLaren Vale. Fun and fruity. Most enjoyable to drink. Florals, pears and apple. The wine equivalent of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, in a good way."