d’Arenberg 2014 “The Hermit Crab” McLaren Vale Viognier-Marsanne ($17.99)

The Hermit Crab

An aromatic white blend of Viognier (74%) and Marsanne (26%), with a portion of the Viognier spending time in French and American oak barrels to add tannic backbone, this is a fresh and aromatic wine. Clear, bright straw color with glints of gold, it offers typical Viognier floral scents at first, quickly joined by notes of peach and musky melon and a whiff of spice. Full-bodied, 13.3% alcohol, but structured with crisp acidity, its flavors follow the nose, stone fruit, orange peel, and a lemon-squirt of acidity in a very long finish. It’s a complex and interesting wine, a great buy for fans of aromatic whites. U.S. importer: Old Bridge Cellars, Napa, Calif. (April , 2017)

FOOD MATCH: The name suggests seafood, and it would serve well with lobster, crab, and other sweet, rich seafood. We enjoyed it with a fresh kale salad in a light vinaigrette, built up to dinner-salad status with bulghur, avocado and slices of Parmigiano.

WHEN TO DRINK: The sturdy screw cap will keep it clean and fresh, but it’s not a wine for long-term cellaring. I’d enjoy this one over the next year or two and watch for succeeding vintages as they become available.

I paid a few bucks more than the $15 U.S. retail reported by Wine-Searcher.com. Shop around if you can find a better price, but it’s certainly a reasonable value into the upper teens.

This info page on the d’Arenberg website features the 2016 Hermit Crab, but you can find links to download tasting notes on the 2014 and other vintages.
Importer Old Bridge Cellars has a good Hermit Crab fact sheet at this link.

Compare prices and find vendors for d’Arenberg McLaren Vale “The Hermit Crab” on Wine-Searcher.com.

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