Years ago I worked in the east end of Toronto near a Chevrolet dealership called “Robertson’s Old Reliable Chevrolet”. That “Old Reliable” stuck with me although at the time Chevrolet’s were never that reliable!
D’Arenberg, a McLaren Vale winery, has also stuck with me for many years as a reliable producer of red and white wines at a fair price that have a capacity to age in the medium term. So is the D’Arenberg still “Old Reliable”?
On the nose lots of blackberry, cassis and black currant. Some blueberry, purple plum and lavender. On the palate tannins are moderate and there is some Chambord, olive tapenade and licorice. McLaren Vale wines can be jammy and overdone, which on occasion can be fun but this is a restrained Cabernet Sauvignon good for sipping and for summer barbeques of chicken, lamb, and pork (no lemon marinade please!).
A good wine at a fair price. It will hold until 2025 and will improve over this suggested limited ageing. How does this differ from a California Cabernet Sauvignon? Actually not much except that it outperforms California Sauvignon in the same price point.
Some of the grapes are food trodden. I haven’t heard much of the foot stomp out of Portugal. The oak used is French and it is not new.
(D’Arenberg The High Trellis McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, D’Arenberg, McLaren Vale, Australia, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 943456, 750 mL, 14.5%, RKS Wine Rating 91/100).