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Wine 7: D’Arenberg The Galvo Garage

  • d’Arenberg is one of the most significant wineries in McLaren Vale.
  • In 1912 Joseph Osborn a teetotaller purchased the well established Milton Vineyards of 25 hectares
  • The fourth generation Chester d’Arenberg Osborn now is the chief winemaker. (Certainly not a teetotaler, I’ve met him).
  • From a very early age Chester was focused on continuing his family’s winemaking tradition.
  • While growing up on the family property he helped his father d’Arry in both the vineyards and the cellar floor during school holidays.
  • Chester took over the reins as Chief Winemaker in 1984.
  • He immediately set about returning the family’s vineyards to their traditional grape growing practices of minimal inputs and no fertilisation and minimal cultivation and irrigation wherever possible, therefore achieving natural soil flavours with very low yields.
  • d’Arenberg used to advertise the fact that they were organic.
  • However they no longer do so as they believe that it makes consumers think that they are paying for the fact that the wines are organic rather than for the wines themselves.
  • The winemaking processes of the past have been maintained, capturing the unique small-batch character of the wines and the true flavour of the McLaren Vale region.
  • In June 2004 Chester’s father, d’Arry was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his contributions to the wine industry.
  • This is a Bordeaux blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 21% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc.
  • The term ‘garagists’ is used to describe the producers in Bordeaux making great wines in their garage, but outside of the ‘Appellation Controlee’ system.
  • The d’Arenberg wines are all made in a small-batch processing, very hands-on way (or feet-on, as the reds are all foot-trod) as the ‘garagists’ do.
  • The reds are all made in the old galvanised garage/shed/winery, hence ‘Galvo’.
  • Therefore the name, ‘Galvo Garage’.
  • The grapes were gently crushed in rubber-toothed crushers so as many berries remained whole.
  • After the primary fermentation traditional foot-treading took place prior to basket-pressing.
  • The wine was aged in French and American oak barriques.
  • Tasting note (Very long and detailed): The wine’s appearance is noticeably deep and dark, suggesting a complex full-bodied, oak matured wine.
  • The aromas are very classic cabernet with notes of exotic dark plums, mulberry, blackcurrants, fragrant cassis and an underlying mix of dark chocolate, cherries, cured meats and spiced violets. Green runner-bean and fine-toasted, French oak, cedar notes come through as the wine opens.
  • The palate is elegant and complex. Extremely juicy with a wonderful deep richness and structure. A mix of pure fruit with edges of exotic notes, immense structure and length with mineral acidity and fine lacy tannins.
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