I think Tash Stoodley is awesome. As brand manager for d’Arenberg she turns up for nearly every public tasting whether she be dressed in fur cloak recalling a character from Game Of Thrones at the Game Of Rhones or appearing exceptionally lady-like conducting on-board tastings on the Queen Mary 2. She never fails to push and promote d’Arenberg with their incredibly large list of wines. Which is all a bit crazy, when you consider that chardonnay is Tash’s favourite drink and d’Arry only make one. Anyway, when this arrived, I thought “oh, poor Tash….yet another label!” But she takes it all in her stride, chardonnay in hand, pants off and hoping someone brings her food. Anyways, this is d’Arry’s first Mencia release. Mencia is a grape native to Spain, it’s pronounced “Men-thee-ah” and like many recently introduced Mediterranean varieties, the McLaren Vale cradle seems to be a strong proving ground.
d’Arenberg, The Anthropocene Epoch, Mencia, McLaren Vale, 2016
The d’Arry labels are always fun, descriptive, educational or a combination of all three. I’ll let you, dear reader work this one out on your own. Big smells: cherries, inky, rocky earth with star anise but undeniably d’Arry house style. The palate bursts at the seams with dark anise spice, cherry, black currant, tobacco and a gravely structure. The acidity is a little jangly and it finishes with an oily chewy tannin profile that coats the entire mouth. I’m holding judgement on a quality rating at the moment, as this is my first Australian Mencia (and I can only think that the quality will rise and rise as the winemakers get a little more familiar with the grape and understand how it works). Ultimately it’s an interesting wine to add to the d’Arry stable.
Wine sample courtesy of d’Arenberg