d’Arenberg GSM The Stump Jump 2008

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South Australia

South Australia.  What does this GI (Geographical Indication) mean to the majority of consumers?  Those who know the geography of the country understand that it is an enormous state, a region with a surface area of 983,482 km2 (379,724 square miles).  This region sports 73,409 hectares (181,398 acres) of vineyards, 47% of the country’s total vineyards, and in 2010 produced 546,935,000 liters (144,484,933 gallons) of wine, 48% of the country’s production for that year.  Among South Australia’s production are the cheapest wines as well as the most celebrated of all, Penfolds Grange.  So, this GI is no guarantee of style, terroir, or quality.  However there are other better known GIs within the region, including Coonawarra, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the unique terra rossa soils; Barossa, known for its Shiraz; and Clare Valley, known for its dry Rieslings.  Of course one pays for the wine with pedigree.  Happily, there are exceptions, and the GSM (an acronym formed from the names of the grapes used in this wine:  Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) The Stump Jump from d’Arenberg is one.

The winery has an interesting beginning.  Joseph Osborn, the grandfather of the founder, was a teetotaler, but in 1912 bought the first vineyards that would eventually become part of the winery’s future holdings.  For many years the company would sell its grapes to wineries in the area.  In 1928 the company’s own winery was constructed and soon began production of its own red wines and fortified wines.  In 1959 Francis d’Arenberg Osborn introduced the first d’Arenberg wines.  In the following twenty years the winery became world-renowned.  Chester d’Arenberg Osborn, the fourth generation, has been making wine since 1984.  He revived many of the old traditions of the winery including the treading of grapes by foot.

A very pretty ruby color.  On the nose there are notes of spicy red fruits:  cherry, strawberry, raspberry and plum, accented by notes of black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, black olive and fresh herbs.  The finish is light but lingering with soft tannins.  An elegant wine.  This wine was ranked number 63 in Wine Spectator magazine’s Top 100 of 2010, and received 90 points and a “Best Value” designation.

  • Winery:  d’Arenberg
  • Wine:  Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre The Stump Jump*
  • Vintage:  2008
  • Country:  Australia
  • Appellation:  South Australia GI
  • Type: dry red wine
  • Composition: 42% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 22% Mourvèdre
  • Ageing:  Old casks of American and French oak
  • Alcohol:  14.0%
  • Format:  750 ml
  • Closure:  Stelvin® screwcap
  • Serving temperature:  15° – 16°C. (59° – 61°F.)
  • Optimum consumption:  through 2013
  • Pairing:  Perfect as an aperitif or with tapas.  With roasted chicken, pastas with meat sauces or a good hamburger.
  • Website:  http://www.darenberg.com.au/
*The Stump Jump is a type of plow invented in South Australia at the end of the 19th century by Richard Bowyer Smith.  After clearing land of trees and shrubs, many roots and stumps can remain.  This type of plow was designed to “jump” over these roots and stumps.

About Gregg Smith

Gregg Smith is an American sommelier certified by The Court of Master Sommeliers living in Lima, Peru, and serving as director of the wine and bar program at Central Restaurante.
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