Classic Australian Wines
Andrew Caillard MW
1967 d’Arenberg Red Burgundy, McLaren Vale South Australia
The 1967 d’Arenberg Burgundy won an extraordinary 7 trophies and 29 Gold medals at various Australian capital wine city wine shows. It became Australia’s first cult-type wine.
Typically the wine showed plenty of fruity aromas, richness of flavour and chocolaty looseknit tannins. This was an eminently gluggable and modern wine that stood out from others because of it vibrancy and juiciness. It wasn’t really made for long term cellaring although some bottles have apparently lasted the distance. 1967 d’Arenberg Red Burgundy (75% Grenache, 25% Shiraz pressings) was made by third generation Frank (d’Arry) d’Arenberg Osborn who took over the family vineyards in 1957.
It was not an overnight success story. He had previously left school at the age of 16 in 1943 to help out his ill-father.
These were extremely tough and unhappy times for the young d’Arry. However his long “days and hours” in the family vineyards gave him a sense of place and understanding of seasonal cycles. He was completely self-taught as a winemaker. It was by sheer force of personality, intuitive winemaking and brilliant packaging that propelled d’Arenberg onto the fine wine scene.
The wines, as they are today, were unpretentious and delicious to drink. They readily found an audience during Australia’s red wine boom. The 1968 d’Arenberg Cabernet Sauvignon, which won the Melbourne Wine Show’s Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy in 1969, cemented d’Arenberg’s reputation and began an important wine making institution. D’Arry’s longstanding contribution to the modern Australian wine industry is incalculable. The d’Arenberg “Red Stripe”, found across all of its labels, is one of the most distinctive and famous brand devices in the world of wine.
Andrew Caillard MW