While the cork is still characteristically d'Arenberg black, the colour or the wine itself has started to fade a bit and shows clear orange/teal rim. Amazing how these wines mature. Much closer to a mature Barolo than anything else. Needed a bit of air but then opened up extremely elegant and complex. Exceptional wine considering the modest price when I originally bought it. Ironstone is in my opinion much more interesting to cellar than Dead Arm.
Opened with dinner, the cork crumbled in a couple pieces. Definitely some bricking and oranging. Some corked notes on the nose, but there's plenty of delightful dusty, plum, porty, boozy, leather, mushroom, treacle, chocolate cake, vanilla notes to make this a very enjoyable, interesting olfactory experience. Flavors of fruit paste and leather, with decent sweetness and plenty of length. The corking continues through the finish, which mildly dectracts, but this is drinking well today - quite an enjoyable and mature wine.
Opened and poured. Light brick to clear. Jammy mushroom, plummy, boysenberry, licorice and dark musky meaty notes. There's a camphor like note that's quite unique and pleasant on the nose. Soft cherry mouthfeel, fully resolved on a tart finish. Certainly enjoyable.
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(D'Arenberg Ironstone Pressings (McLaren Vale)) A more mature colour than on my last tasting, which was five years ago. The nose certainly has interest - roasted meats and liquorice, although with a strange, confected, cough-candy aroma. The fruit has a baked, macerated edge to it (storage has been impeccable) and there is a slightly hot, feral, gamey, earthy, old coffee-ground character too. Soft and creamy on the palate, a touch blowsy perhaps, rather velvety in texture though, broad, big and ripe. There are firm acids behind it all, and a hard layer of tannins too. Like the nose, the palate shows a sweet and meaty character. This is fascinating too taste, although it is not a wine I am particularly enjoying. It doesn't seem to have come together in a very harmonious fashion; in fact, it seems to be all over the place. A rather reserved score.
(D'Arenberg Ironstone Pressings (McLaren Vale)) A gorgeous red-purple hue, plainly full of life. The nose is very expressive, although still somewhat dominated by the liquorice and coconut aromas of American oak. Sitting with this, though, there are piles of ripe, black fruits, some black pepper. With just a little air the Mourvèdre shows its stuff, with some gamy, wild animal aromas developing. It has a brilliant weight, with a good tannic structure which shows through on the end palate. Ripe blueberry and blackberry fruits again, although the fruit is less prominent in this wine, and there is a harder, coke and charcoal character to the mouthfeel, particularly through the endpalate. This is fantastic, delicious stuff.
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