d’Arenberg Vintage Fortified Shiraz is winemaker Chester Osborn’s take on a Port-style wine, a fortified shiraz. Australia has always had a long history of fortified wine production and d’Arenberg’s first vintage of fortified shiraz was in 1928. The wine has always been shiraz based, but in some vintages there were other grape varieties in the blend, some vintage have included Chambourcin in the blend, for example.
d’Arenberg is one of the most famous McLaren Vale wineries. It was founded in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, the estate is now in the hands of fourth generation winemaker Chester Osborn who, in 2007, was ranked in Australia’s Top 10 Shiraz producers by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
The grapes for the d’Arenberg Vintage Fortified Shiraz are still sourced from the same old and gnarly vines as that first vintage. Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and a small amount of fine, fortifying brandy spirit is added, ending fermentation and retaining the sweet fruit richness of the style. d’Arenberg Vintage Fortified Shiraz does not spend any time in wood prior to bottling. It is bottled at 18% abv and the 2008 is 100% Shiraz. 98 g/L residual sugar.