d'Arenberg Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne '07

Country: Australia
Thoughts: Naturally, one would have to be a little concerned about trying a wine named after a painfully shy crustacean. But it was offered to us as we went to visit our friends, Mac and Ronda (who, by the way, played a crucial role in our first-ever wine tasting; that experiment eventually became the project you see before you). We were checking in on the two of them and their one-month old son, Beau. All are well, we're happy to say. Back to the wine: What a curious blend this is. Despite limited experience with Viognier, we know enough that it's supposed to be sweet. After a quick run through the blends, we've never come across Marsanne, but ever-helpful Wikipedia comes through. The strange thing is that these two formed a wine that is about as close to sauvignon blanc as one would expect from a wine that's not sauvignon blanc. The earthiness is apparent in the nose and in taste; a little mineral and grassiness in the nose, a crispness in the taste. It did come across a bit sweeter than sauvignon - the Viognier coming through, no doubt - and the finish was a tad dryer. But really, it was a pleasant surprise that these two grapes came together in such a way; it would make for a nice twist in what would otherwise be a perfect setting for sauvignon blanc.
Ingredients: 52 percent Adelaide Viognier, 42 percent Marsanne
Do-over? I would certainly be willing to give it another go
Final Grade: B+

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