The wines have just been released on the market at a special time: exactly 100 years ago Chester's grandfather bought the D'Arenberg vineyard and started the winery with profits he had made from selling racehorses. In a way, these single vineyard expressions help commemorate the first exciting century of this interesting family owned winery in McLaren Vale.
I love this-- in true Chester personality, he has put a little cartoon of himself on every label in this line! This is The Fruit Bat shiraz label which depicts him stuck under the label.
He has a unique and sustainable philosophy toward winemaking and vinegrowing.
In the vineyard: sustainable farming, low yields, no copper, no fertilizer (he believes that fertilizer makes it too easy for the grapes, and he's noticed that since he stopped fertilizing the grapes have grown thicker skins).
In the winery: everything is basket pressed, submerged cap fermentation, no racking, no filtering, no fining.
This is from old bush vines planted in the 1930s. Sandy soils with deep clay beds and ironstone pockets. This particular bottling isn't a single vineyard, but it is a single district (Blewitt Springs).
dried strawberries, dried flowers, nougat, a hint of earthy meat.
D'Arenberg Grenache "The Beautiful View" 2009
The namesake of the wine comes from McLaren Vale's history. It used to be two towns: one of them was called Bellview (Beautiful View in translation) and the old name was absorbed into the larger McLaren Vale. Bellview had actually been taken already as a wine name, so Chester calls it the next closest thing: Beautiful View. This is a blend of two properties; one has grey loam over clay & limestone and the other is terra rossa.
This one has an amazing earthy aroma that still manages to balance delicate floral aromas.
The Eight Iron '09
grey loam over limestone soils.
crushed fruits, fennel, licorice, earth.
The Little Venice '09
This vineyard was named thus because Chester officially purchased it while he was in Venice, and also because there is a spring-fed damn on the property. Here we have shallow soils with limestone popping up through the surface.
mixed berries, fennel, chalky wood structure.
The Fruit Bat '09
Limestone & red-brown earth soils. This vineyard was named The Fruit Bat because a shed (artistically depicted in the lower right hand corner of the label) always has fruit bats in it.
blackberries, blackberry leaves, lavender
Chester says Cheers!!