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2010 d’Arenberg “The Hermit Crab” Viognier Marsanne

Tasting Notes:

Eyes: clear, med lemon-green
Nose: clean, med intensity, floral, melon (honeydew), tropical fruit, notes of honey, flintiness, and lime
Mouth: dry, med+ body, low to med- acidity, med length
All in all: Good quality, drink now

My goodness. What a night of work. Technical difficulties all around. Thank goodness wine exists. Blind tasting time!

We started off with a white wine. I was honestly in this sweet and refreshing mood (perhaps a beer mood? Brachetto/Moscato/fruit ale mood?) so it was both a bittersweet moment when I tasted this fruity and floral wine with lower acid. I instantly guessed a hot climate new world wine, although I pegged Australia on the third guess. This wine had a lot of body to it – a really weighty and thick character. I guessed a Chardonnay, which my colleague understood, but was wrong. Another analysis of the floral nose had me guessing Viognier in no time (majority of the blend) (and later I was all – “well duh, of COURSE this is Viognier, how could I be so stupid?”),  but it was the other grape took me a while to guess. I’m not amazingly familiar with Marsanne, but I think it was this grape that contributed to the interesting Chardonnay-like mouthfeel and body. The wine almost borders on flabby, but has a nice complexity on the palate and nose to sort of carry itself.

Anyways, this is quite a nice blend with a decent amount of complexity. I’m a big fan of Viognier’s floral nose, and this is a beautifully aromatic wine, although there are some Viognier wines of better value out there.

Producer: d’Arenberg
Designation: The Hermit Crab
Region: Australia
Sub-Region: McLaren Vale
Variety: Viognier, Marsanne
ABV: 13.1%
Vintage: 2010
May 4, 2012
Price: $27 (Liberty), $27 (Firefly)


DipWSET, Certified Sommelier, garbage person.

  • Claire

    Thanks for the review Josh. The marsanne does add a nutty character and that richer mouthfeel that is similar to chardonnay. A small component of the Viognier also spent a small amount of time in barrique so that could have added to the complexity/confusion. We love this wine with seafood, particularly with an Asian influence to the dish as the ‘fruit sweetness’ and the weight can stand up to complex flavours and spice. Cheers Claire from d’Arenberg

    May 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm
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