d'Arenberg The Peppermint Paddock Chambourcin 1998

Well, I don't think I've even seen a bottle of Chambourcin wine, let alone reviewed one.  So, upon presentation, I immediately had to type away on the iPhone to try to work out what this grape variety was and where it was from.  A quick search revealed it to be a hybrid variety of largely unknown parentage that is forbidden for use as a quality wine in Europe, although more helpfully it was noted as being devoid of the "foxy" taste that is said to mar many of the American grape varieties and other hybrids.  Ok then, so maybe not the best start.  What then of the wine?  Here was the surprise: this wine had a classy, almost compelling, aroma of chocolate and old leather.  The aroma reminded me of an old Hermitage.  The palate did not disappoint either with similar flavours and some quite good length.  Remarkable.  88 to 89 points.
McLaren Vale
July 12, 2010

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