What’s in the glass tonight July 1st – Shiraz

d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2012

Off Topic: d’Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz McLaren Vale 2012 – $$

It’s a new month. The year is moving on, but winter is still lagging behind, much to the chagrin of us skiers (the season was meant to start on Mt Ruapehu on the 2nd…). No matter what is happening on Game of Thrones…

And, in honour of the upcoming Game of Rhones celebration, and to take the edge off my working week, I chose a value wine from one of the featured producers – d’Arenberg.

D’Arenberg write on the label that their name pays homage to a significant South Australian invention – the Stump Jump plough, designed to ride over stumps and roots saving time and energy. It is rumoured that the inventor of the plough had poor eyesight and required regular tests to ensure he could still operate machinery. The design of this label is inspired by an optometrist’s eyechart and serves as a makeshift sobriety test. If you can hold the bottle at arm’s length and still read the front label, you can enjoy another glass.

Deep dark ruby colour. 14.4% alc.

Attractive leafy nose, savoury notes, warm enticing black cherries and vanilla. It has a Rhone-like presence.

In the mouth, the wine is full bodied, with nutty black fruits & chewy tannins. It shows juicy acidity on the finish, hot and tannic at the death. Good length. This is drinking really well after four years.

88 Points

Game of Rhones

Game of Rhones

Wine Is Coming

After a superlative tasting hosted by Geoff Kelly a couple years back, my eyes (and tastebuds) were opened to the charms of wines from the Rhone. I had drunk a few Syrahs before, and of course Aussie Shiraz, but had before never looked at wines from the spiritual homeland of the grape. Now I love the stuff. It’s even elbowing aside my beloved Pinot Noir as my favourite red wine, so we know it’s getting serious.

I was really intrigued to learn of a cool tasting concept event coming up that is on its 4th go-round – GAME OF RHONES.

Brought by BottleShop Concepts, this is a celebration of the great grape varieties of the Rhone Valley on our side of the world. Think Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier, Marsanne and more all from some of the best wine producers in Australia, New Zealand and beyond. With over 40 producers and 100 wines on tasting, including favs Craggy range, Pask, Trinity Hill, Man O’War, Langmeil, d’Arenberg and even the real deal Delas and M.Chapoutier, it promises to be an education, and a treat.

I am told this event is not endorsed nor affiliated with that HBO TV Series Game of Thrones. But dressing-up is encouraged. The Auckland event is on tomorrow July 2nd from 1pm at Queens Wharf, tickets via http://www.bottleshopconcepts.com/gameofrhones/.

L and I are primed to attend the Wellington event on July 9th. Looking forward to it!