Wednesday, January 12, 2011

d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red Blend, Vintage 2008

A friend of mine posted on Facebook about her love of the South Australian d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz a few months back, so I recognized the name when I saw the lable. But, while Shiraz is pretty much my favorite red, I opted for a red blend of 42% Grenache/ 36% Shiraz/ 22% Mourvedre because of the sticker on it that read "Wine Spectator 90 Points Best Value". You might think that this is contrary to what I posted about the purpose of this blog, but while I do maintain that experts don't know everything, I also find it helpful on occasion to attempt to understand WHY some low-cost wines are rated so highly.

Initial Impression: I have to admit that this wine was a bit of a turn-off upon first whiff because the pepper and VERY ripe fruit aromas were so strong. After I let it breathe a bit (I forgot, of course, that this blend is now a few years old - always breathe wines when you have the opportunity because more often than not, they open up), the aroma mellowed and I got a nice earthy/fruity nose.

Verdict: I am SO glad I selected this wine. Also a cheapy, it is a tiny bit spicy and definitely sweeter than a straight Shiraz (likely because of the Grenache). The tannins are fairly smooth and even though the alcohol is 14%, there is little heat on the palate, which adds to the balance of this wine. Some strong flavors I get are dark red fruits (cherry/plum/cassis) and even a little floral note (maybe rose or violet?). There an undercurrent of licorice and pepper which adds to the complexity and the finish is lovely, if not a bit earthy.

Pairing: This is a great red for someone who doesn't love red wine! Lighter than a traditional Shiraz, this would go very nicely with meats and smokier cheeses (I had a bit of aged Wisconsin cheddar with it and it was heavenly!). I would also pair it with pasta and red sauce - the acidity in the wine will balance the acidity in tomato sauce quite nicely.

Wine: d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red Blend, Vintage 2008
Cost: $10
Place Purchased: Town & Country Liquors, Easton, MD

For more d'Arengberg wines, check out their vineyard sites at: d'Arenberg vineyard.


  1. Hey, just stumbled across your blog! If you can find it, you should try the 2007 Stump Jump blend. It's SO good. Their blend changes every year depending upon what they end up with, and the 2007 is slightly sweeter (more Grenache I think).

  2. I knew I had written about it somewhere:

    Although I checked their website and the 2007 was a pretty small batch so it may be a no-go. I was right though, it's 50% Grenache.