72% Viognier & 28% Marsanne
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 (2016 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 of Hermitage, where the Marsanne grape variety dominates.
The Viognier certainly takes center stage on the nose in the guise of stone fruits, candied ginger and florals. In the background for those keen on honing their senses, Marsanne adds slightly more exotic notes of green mango, hay and almond. The palate has a lovely medium bodied weight to it, without any of that oiliness that over ripe Viognier can deliver. Precise acid throughout and a mild pithy texture on the finish ensure freshness and spice to keep the sweetness of the fruit in check. Fruity and spicy yet dry make this an all occasions wine."
Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller (2016 Vintage)
"Shows distinct Viognier aromas – orange blossom and apricot – but tamed by Marsanne's citrus and touch of acidity. A very attractive, complex bouquet, honey and spices, toasted nuts. The palate is rich and unctuous, soft and silky textured with sweet fruit galore lifted by a well-managed hint of residual sugar. It's well-balanced and a real crowdpleaser. Amazing value."
91/100 Huon Hooke, The Real Review, July 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Continues a run of amazing value wines under this label. Soft, rounded, full-flavoured and fragrant, it boasts a bouquet of clean flower, spice and stone-fruit aromas. The generous palate is rounded and seems further softened by a subliminal hint of sweetness."
92/100 Tony Love, The Advertiser Top 100 Wines (2016 Vintage)
"From the Vales where red Rhone varieties dominate the landscape, this crazy little white makes so much ancestral sense as both varieties are native as well to south-eastern France. There's a faint copper tinge to the colour, an attractive sub-tropical fruit salad waft of aromas, mouthpleasing, richer textural feels and a finishing lift of apricot and musk sticks. Great value."
Sue Courtney, wineoftheweek.com, August 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"There's a citrine brightness to the hue and a sense of honeyed apricot both to the aroma and the taste together with peach and a tingle of ginger juice that’s nicely honed by refreshing acidity and an underlying savouriness. Mouthcoating and textural with a subtle smoky nuance to the long warm, lingering finish."
89/100 Wine Enthusiast (2016 Vintage)
"This wine offers waxy lemon, apricot pit and ginger spice on the nose, followed by a round and rich palate that's balanced by just enough acidity to keep things fresh. The finish shows some oak spice and nuttiness, along with more ripe lemon and stone fruit flavors."