Tag Archives: d’arenberg


Last night three guys, Michael, Billy and Scott, brought these two wines into the restaurant. Dennis has a good corkage policy. The first bottle’s free and the next are $5 per person per bottle. And, of course, the wine cannot be on our wine list. Take a look below and you’ll see there’s no way these were on our list. The restaurant has no storage and we buy a case at a time of a wine and then move on to something new. The guys let me taste the wines. Scott said he had to travel to Australia to get the d’Arenberg, and this bottle was among the few he had left.


d’Arenberg 2001 The Bonsai Vine (70 percent grenache, 25 shiraz and 5 mourvedre) McClaren Vale, Australia

Martinelli 2000 Zinfandel “Giuseppe & Luisa” Russian River Valley, California

Let me tell you about the Martinelli in one word: Yuck. Take a look below.


And this is high up on the front label in a font most can read without glasses. True, it’s cool these days to dismiss high alcohol wine, but this was so hot and so ripe. It tasted like an Amarone. You could taste the raisins. There’s a Madeira on the bar that’s 18.3 percent alcohol, and that’s fortified with pure alcohol. There is a wine merchant in California, Darell Corti, who, last year, refused to sell wines above 14.5 percent alcohol. Parker gave this wine 92 points.

So it’s not my style. But the d’Arenberg is. Made in the style and with the grapes of Chateauneuf-du-pape, the wine is powerful yet still elegant. It was pretty delicious with great silky mouthfeel, as Michael described it. I detected a little bit of brett on the nose, but it added a little barnyard to the wine, which was good. The wine, as goes the extensive story on the back label, is called The Bonsai Vine because the vines are bush vines in a dry-farmed vineyard, pruned so they look like little bonsai trees.

Thanks guys! I wonder what they’ll bring next time.



Filed under Frisky Business