February 27, 2007

D'Arenberg 2005 McLaren Vale The Stump Jump, about $10

The best wines reflect the place they're made - what we wine geeks refer to as "terroir."

Some also reflect the personality of the vintner - a good thing when the vintner is as cheery and cheeky as Chester d'Arenberg. You get a feel for him in the name of this wine - the "stump jump" referring to a plough that can handily "jump" over gnarled eucalyptus roots (common in South Australia).

And you get a sense of the place in the flavor of this wine, a classic Rhône blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre that radiates the warm, sunny McLaren Vale in its generous, plummy fruit. It's plump and easy, as ready to party as it is ready to settle in with a hearty pot roast.

Imported by Old Bridge Cellars, Napa, Calif.

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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