Bottled up: a red and three whites

By David Ellis from vintnews.

Chester Osborn, Chief Winemaker at d’Arenberg Wines in South Australia, has long had a passion for searching out new grape varieties suited to the diverse terroir of his vineyards in McLaren Vale.

And he’s coupled this with an equal passion for creating the most unusual of blends, and then giving the resultant wines with the quirkiest of labels. Wines such as his recently released The Old Bloke & The Three Young Blondes that’s 91% Shiraz (the Old Bloke, sourced from the company’s oldest and most-gnarled Shiraz vines,) and 3% each Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne that d’Arenberg planted in the 1990s, and subsequently the youthful Three Young Blondes in this unique blend.

Bringing these four together has resulted in a beautifully complex and captivating wine that seems to get better with every flavoursome sip, with wonderful and almost chunky Shiraz tannins tempered by the lusciousness of the three white Rhone varieties… and with equally wonderful aromas to savour as well.

The most premium release in d’Arenberg’s 104 year history, this stand-out wine is $200 and available only from the cellar door or online ( and a richly rewarding drop to share over a good cheese plate to finish a special dinner.

One to note: if you’re heading overseas, or just staying closer to home on that next holiday, and some winery visits along the way are on the agenda, a must to get hold of before you go is a book from Lonely Planet called Wine Trails.

For here is a meticulously researched introduction to not only something like 330 wineries in 52 regions of twenty countries, but tips on where to stay around those wineries, where to eat, maps to help get around… and of course the specialities in local wines. It covers not just major established wine countries and regions, but newly-emerging ones too like Lebanon and Georgia, with suggested local wines to try.

Designed for social quaffers and free of confusing mumbo-jumbo wine-talk, this is a must-buy at $35 to ensure getting the most out of winery visits on that next big trip.