Most of McLaren Vale's prime vineyard land is composed of soil containing ancient and decomposed laterite granite known as "Ironstone". Over the past four decades d'Arenberg has released a separate "Pressings" based wine every few vintages, and since 1988 every vintage. Thus the continuation of this process and the name being as such.
The fruit was hand harvested from 19th century vineyards then it was vinified using traditional techniques before being sent to age in French and American oak barrels for 12 months.
The first thing I noticed after pouring the wine was the color. It's hard to believe that wines produced in 2003 are already showing signs of maturity in both color, taste, and aroma, but then when you think about it, it is seven years ago! The deep and dark red core of the wine is still firmly in tact with just the edges around the glass starting to fade and take on some brick hues.
On the nose I get aromas of blackberry, plum, pencil led, anise, cedar, and cherry. With the proper aeration this wine reveals multiple layers of aroma and rhubarb, soil, and black tea are also things that come to mind. On the palate this wine is still very powerful and shows a forceful acidity and tannin structure still in place. There are robust blackberry and black currant flavors that combine with secondary notes of cedar spice, vanilla bean, and crushed rock.
My first impression after thoroughly tasting this wine is "Damn....I opened it too soon".
If any of you have this wine in your cellar I suggest holding off for a few more years and perhaps the wine will clam down and integrate a bit more. The wine really has the structure to last another ten years if you ask me! (peaking in about 5-7).
It has plentiful fruit, sharp acidity , and astringent but not harsh tannin. Very well made wine. 90+ points