|I can’t say Derelict
d’Arenberg Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2007 (McLaren Vale, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $35
I rather liked the 06 version of this, it ticked all the right Grenache buttons. What’s standing in the way of a repeat performance here is the 07 vintage, which was tough in the Vale – a dry, drought year that produced tiny little berries with thick skins and bugger all flesh. The 07 Vale reds are thus concentrated buggers, but all too lean towards desiccation and general lack of love. Still, if any grape can cope with such a hard life, then Grenache is it.
This provides a pretty good account of itself too – it smells thick and dry, of dried fruit, molasses and bitumen, the fruit essence like in it’s dehydrated form. Yet the palate is still grapey enough to be drinkable – it’s hardish and drying, but there’s a certain meaty enjoyment to be had – a real heartiness that matches quite well with the sweet red confected fruit to make for a proper, meat-and-3-veg sort of red. There’s charm in here no doubt, if set in a slightly too firm package. 16.8/89