Category Archives: d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab 2009

What I Drank- d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab, Viognier/Marsanne Blend, 2009

I love Viognier, so to continue my theme of tasting Australian vinos, I decided to throw this nugget into my imaginary “basket” since I was already paying a flat rate for shipping, and online shopping is make believe anyway—until the bill and box show up. The d’Arenberg is actually a blend of 72% Viognier and 28% Marsanne, similar to styles found in the Southern Rhone of France. Mmmm—getting excited for this one.

First, a few winery facts, if you care: d’Arenberg vineyard was founded in McLaren Vale in 1912 by a teetotaler, crazy enough.  The winery is well-regarded in Australia, and their wines are prolific in the U.S., at least more so than other Aussie producers. The name The Hermit Crab has a two-fold origin: first, deriving from a shortening of “Hermitage”, the region in Southern Rhone known for the Marsanne varietal; second, honoring of the little crustaceans that once crawled the floor of the region, millions of years ago, in the old-timey days of Australia.

Hello, aromatics! One of my favorite sensual enjoyments from a glass of wine is the sniffing. I am like a dog to another’s behind, gathering data and pleasure from the aromas.  Yea, bad imagery, but the analogy works. My nose is blasted by juicy pears, apricots and peaches so ripe you really should make a smoothie with them. The palate builds upon that, with layers of citrus pith, grapefruit, almond, spice and the slightest hint of tropical deliciousness.  Fairly full-bodied with a touch of oak, this is a marathon wine—two days later, tasting just as fragrant and vibrant as the first.  Not life-altering, but could be enthusiastically enjoyed on a summer weekend.  $17.49 from

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