d'Arenberg 'The Hermit Crab' McLaren Vale Viognier-Marsanne 2020 is no longer available

This is a carousel with zoom. Use the thumbnails to navigate, or jump to a slide. Use the zoom button to zoom into a image.

Out of stock

d'Arenberg 'The Hermit Crab' McLaren Vale Viognier-Marsanne 2020

White Wine from Australia - South Australia
4.500000000 star rating 2 Reviews
Another charming Aussie twist on the classic white grapes of the Rhône from Chester Osborn, his second Wine Champion of our 2021 tastings. The exotic and perfumed viognier grape gives floral and juniper aromas, lifting and lightening the more serious, stone-fruited character of marsanne. An impressive blend with just the right amount of aromatic joie-de-vivre.
is no longer available
Code: AU23711

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 2 - Dry
  • White Rhone Blend
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2024
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Screwcap
Play Video
d'Arenberg 'The Hermit Crab' McLaren Vale Viognier-Marsanne Video transcript

Video transcript

If you're ever able to get to Adelaide only an hour or so drive out of the city, you'll find the McLaren Vale, home to d'Arenberg winery, one of the best destination wineries in the area.

Their wines are firm favourites of Wine Society members and mine as well, because of the amount of personality that they managed to get into the bottle.

It's now a fourth generation winery and a chap called Chester Osborn is at the helm, and he's bursting with life. He's a real, real character so it's no wonder that his wines are so interesting and varied.

This is a good example of his sort of style. This is the Hermit Crab Viognier-Marsanne, a blend of two Rhône grape varieties, and it's actually the first blend of its type in the McLaren Vale. It's called the Hermit Crab because the soils of the vineyards are actually made up of all sorts of fossils, things like hermit crabs, for example. That's what it says on the back label anyway; seems slightly tenuous to me.

On the nose, thanks to the blend of viognier and marsanne, you get a sort of a semi-aromatic, lovely kind of lift to the fruit. It's all about white fruit, stone-fruit and citrus. Palate's lovely. There's this lovely kind of salt and pepper flavour, lovely fresh, mouthwatering acidity and a really bright, tingly sort of lemon-zest flavour as well.

Absolutely delicious.

It's a great introduction to Chester Osborne's style - wacky, but also very, very drinkable.

South Australia

South Australia (SA) is Australia's wine heartland, producing most of the country's wine and boasting some of its oldest vines. The dry, hot climate ripens grapes fully, making bold, dense and concentrated wines.

The Barossa Valley has a rich viticultural history with patches of bush-trained vines, many more than 100 years old. It is first and foremost a red wine region. Shiraz is king but cabernet sauvignon, grenache and mourvèdre play an important part, too.

Close to the Barossa is the Eden Valley, a windswept series of elevated hills producing exceptional shiraz and floral riesling. Just north of the Barossa is the Clare Valley, which represents Australia's pinnacle for riesling, where elevated vineyards temper the intense heat, producing dry whites of immense class and purity. The region's powerful and muscular reds can be outstanding too.

On the coast south of Adelaide is McLaren Vale, which vies with Barossa to be SA's best red-wine region. The climate is warm enough to...

South Australia (SA) is Australia's wine heartland, producing most of the country's wine and boasting some of its oldest vines. The dry, hot climate ripens grapes fully, making bold, dense and concentrated wines.

The Barossa Valley has a rich viticultural history with patches of bush-trained vines, many more than 100 years old. It is first and foremost a red wine region. Shiraz is king but cabernet sauvignon, grenache and mourvèdre play an important part, too.

Close to the Barossa is the Eden Valley, a windswept series of elevated hills producing exceptional shiraz and floral riesling. Just north of the Barossa is the Clare Valley, which represents Australia's pinnacle for riesling, where elevated vineyards temper the intense heat, producing dry whites of immense class and purity. The region's powerful and muscular reds can be outstanding too.

On the coast south of Adelaide is McLaren Vale, which vies with Barossa to be SA's best red-wine region. The climate is warm enough to guarantee lush, chocolatey reds from shiraz, grenache and cabernet, while its strong maritime influence invests elegance in chardonnay, viognier and marsanne. Nearby Langhorne is cooled by the lake and nearby sea, and grows grapes of very good quality at a low cost. These excellent-value wines are marked by a softness and fullness of flavour. The Adelaide Hills area east of the city are cool and provide the perfect ingredients for lemony sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Coonawarra, further south-east behind the Limestone Coast, is South Australia's leading cabernet region, the unique terra rossa soil and maritime influence producing grapes with intense flavours and fabulous structure.

Read more

d'Arenberg

d’Arenberg is undoubtedly one of the most significant wineries in Australia’s McLaren Vale today. It was started in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, a teetotaller, who purchased 25 hectares of land and began selling fruit to local wineries. In 1928, the property’s own cellars were completed and red and fortified wines were made here in increasing quantities to supply the expanding European markets.

The name d’Arenberg came to prominence in 1959 when Joseph’s grandson Francis d’Arenberg Osborn, universally known as ‘d’Arry’, took over the running of the business and christened it in honour of his mother’s family name. The wines themselves started gaining cult status amongst judges and amateurs alike. By the 1970s the d’Arenberg range had gained a significant national and international profile and its wines had become extremely fashionable.

In 1984, d’Arry’s charismatic son Chester d’Arenberg Osborn, having graduated and spent time exploring European estates, took over the reins as chief winemaker and viticulturalist. Passionate about the family business from his youth, the inimitable Chester soon set about reintroducing traditional practices to capture the small-batch character of his wines. The old-fashioned basket press, for example, allows oxygen into the vinification process, softening and rounding out flavours and contributing much of the innate character that sets the wines apart. At the same time, Chester has moved the brand into the 21st century and now presides over an...
d’Arenberg is undoubtedly one of the most significant wineries in Australia’s McLaren Vale today. It was started in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, a teetotaller, who purchased 25 hectares of land and began selling fruit to local wineries. In 1928, the property’s own cellars were completed and red and fortified wines were made here in increasing quantities to supply the expanding European markets.

The name d’Arenberg came to prominence in 1959 when Joseph’s grandson Francis d’Arenberg Osborn, universally known as ‘d’Arry’, took over the running of the business and christened it in honour of his mother’s family name. The wines themselves started gaining cult status amongst judges and amateurs alike. By the 1970s the d’Arenberg range had gained a significant national and international profile and its wines had become extremely fashionable.

In 1984, d’Arry’s charismatic son Chester d’Arenberg Osborn, having graduated and spent time exploring European estates, took over the reins as chief winemaker and viticulturalist. Passionate about the family business from his youth, the inimitable Chester soon set about reintroducing traditional practices to capture the small-batch character of his wines. The old-fashioned basket press, for example, allows oxygen into the vinification process, softening and rounding out flavours and contributing much of the innate character that sets the wines apart. At the same time, Chester has moved the brand into the 21st century and now presides over an expanding range of evocatively marketed wines yet ensures that intrinsic quality in the bottle remains uniformly high.

There is no doubt that the portfolio revolves around its richly robust reds with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and grenache the cornerstones. Great vintages of the ‘icon’ wines - The Dead Arm Shiraz, The Coppermine Road and The Ironstone Pressings - have immense capacity for longevity but the majority of d’Arenberg’s red wines are suitable for drinking fairly young. The whites demonstrate the sheer breadth of the range and what an astute winemaker Chester Osborne is, often achieving great perfume and poise through careful blending of fruit from different sites.

In 2009 d’Arenberg joined Australia’s First Families of Wine, a trade alliance of 12 family-owned companies. The high profile in the UK and the US in particular, which far larger companies would love to have, looks set to continue to rise even further.
Read more

Sussex Express

An unusually named wine coming from a top producer in South Australia’s McLaren Vale, made from viognier and marsanne, varieties more usually associated with the Rhone Valley. Small batches of grapes are...
An unusually named wine coming from a top producer in South Australia’s McLaren Vale, made from viognier and marsanne, varieties more usually associated with the Rhone Valley. Small batches of grapes are fermented at low temperature, with a proportion fermented in French oak for eight months and blended back. This is McLaren Vales first-ever blend of these varieties and the resulting wine is generous, charming and aromatic, with stone-fruit and pineapple flavours, along with citrus notes.
Read more

Richard Esling

Wirral Live

The viognier grape is exotic and perfumed. The marsanne grape is stone-fruited in character. Together, here, they combine to make a lovely perfumed, refreshing and vibrant wine. exotic nose and aromas of ...
The viognier grape is exotic and perfumed. The marsanne grape is stone-fruited in character. Together, here, they combine to make a lovely perfumed, refreshing and vibrant wine. exotic nose and aromas of orange zest, lime and lemon grass. It is an intense wine with a wonderful finish. It is pale straw in colour and offers up lovely perfumed orange and citrus blossom, green papaya, tropical pineapple, ginger and grapefruit notes.
Read more

The Curious Quaffer

2020 vintage reviews
2019 vintage reviews
2018 vintage reviews

Bestselling wines

Back to top