d’Arenberg winery in McLaren Vale have released two new wines in the artisans family, The Danger Mouse Nero d’Avola 2018, and The Hunjee Heartstring Montepulciano 2018.
Both wines are vegan-friendly and made with biodynamically grown grapes from family-owned vineyards, a product of d’Arenberg’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. These wines represent an ongoing program of alternate grape variety plantings in the McLaren Vale wine region.
“These varieties are suited to warmer climate conditions, ripening significantly later than some of the other traditional grape varieties,” said d’Arenberg Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn.
“With the changing climate, we are working with varieties that may one day replace the traditional ones planted in the region like Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. They are more resistant to drought and heat stress. Montepulciano and Mencia in particular are my two favourite contenders to replace Shiraz in the future.”
The Danger Mouse Nero d’Avola 2018
Following from the recent launch of the first certified organic wine, The Danger Mouse Nero d’Avola 2018 is the second d’Arenberg wine to be labelled with full organic certification from NASAA. It is planted on the Mustard vineyard in the Beautiful View Subdistrict of McLaren Vale, with red brown earth over limestone on the Blanche point formation which is 34-56 million years old.
First impressions of this wine is one of dark purple fruits, plums, mulberry, a twist of spice and an almost ferrous note. With air it becomes redder, beautifully ripe, with sweet raspberries. Medium bodied but with a lovely creamy, almost silky texture. It is juicy, luscious, with a ripe raspberry palette. Strawberries and cream. Milk chocolate. Subtle vanillin oak. Very well integrated. Generosity is key here, but in a medium bodied package.
Its name references a plague that swept vineyards in 2018, with grapes precariously hanging in danger of mice, who used the black cover of night to consume the flesh of grapes. The word Nero translates to black in Italian, the language of the country where this grape variety originates.
The Hunjee Heartstring Montepulciano 2018
Montepulciano grown in the Blewitt Springs subdistrict of McLaren Vale. The vineyard is low lying, on the western side of the region, with deep sand on clay. It is an intriguing wine displaying a subtle range of flavours. Maraschino cherry, roasted meat, black olive and plummy notes. Also some dried herb (sage) and spice. Perhaps even a slight see air note. Palette is really sleek but viscous.
Concentrated but medium bodied with moderate acidity and fine core of tannin. Great line. Beautiful in its restraint.
Its name references Hunjee, Australian slang for 100, the perfect score when reviewing wine. This dark, brooding Montepulciano is so good it will tug at your heartstrings, and you’ll be left wanting more.
Both wines retail at $29, and are available to purchase through the d’Arenberg cellar door and online.