d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2006
A very serious example of this Southern Rhône blend; dark and minerally, with briary notes and a hint of spice; chewy, long, and with really vibrant fruit on the finish, this would reward a charry steak well. Screwcap.
The 2006 The Ironstone Pressings Grenache (70%)-Shiraz (25%)-Mourvedre (5%) offers a complex nose of cedar, leather, espresso, spice box, violets, black cherry, and blueberry compote. On the palate it offers up gobs of spicy, savory fruit, lovely integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a 45-second finish. Cellar it for 4-5 years and drink it from 2013 to 2026.
Chester Osborn's top selection of grenache blended with shiraz and mourvedre, this wine is named for the ironstone soil in which his family's ancient vines grow. It has grenache's lovely strawberry flavors, darkened by shiraz tannins but still lifted and refined. There's a meaty, smoked pork butt flavor that combines the wine's oak with its earthy tannins. A substantial blend to age, and to decant as it matures for roast boar.
For a Grenache-dominated (70%) blend, this shows outstanding structure. the firm tannins are slightly drying right now, but should smooth out nicely by 2012 and the wine should continue to drink well through at least 2020. Ripe cherry and cassis notes are framed by subtle cedary oak, imparting a sophisticated elegance to the long finish.
Opaque ruby. Brooding, pungent red and dark berry aromas are complicated by cured tobacco, sandalwood and Indian spices. Broad and rich, with deep blackcurrant and cherry compote flavors and a firm structure that makes itself apparent with aeration. The grenache is in the background today, and the wine finishes with serious grip and sneaky persistence. I'd give this some cellar time.