d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 2005
$14.99 — 89 WA | 89 ST
According to the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits website, the Atherton Street location is a Premium Collection Store with more than 2,000 selections. Far from premium, this week the store looked like a cross between a warehouse and a warzone, with literally dozens of specials occupying every bit of free space. In some places they had aisles blocked in order to accommodate everything.
And yet, despite the abundance of choices, finding any wines worth buying proved to be a real challenge. Most of what they were peddling was either worthless swill or just simply too expensive for everyday enjoyment. Having 2,000 selections is of no benefit if the wines are not not worth drinking in the first place.
After what felt like an hour in the store, I finally found one worth bringing home in quantity: d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 2005. The Footbolt is a consistently good offering (so too are many of the other bottlings from d’Arenberg). The 2005 vintage is no exception. And at $14.99, the Pennsylvania Wines and Spirits price is actually very, very competitve, on par with the best I can find on the internet. I picked up a case and a half, nearly cleaning them out.
The Footbolt scores 89 points from both Robert Parker / Wine Advocate, and from Stephen Tanzer / International Wine Cellar. After drinking the first bottle I can see why. This wine has a beautiful nose, a lot on the palate and a decently long finish. The Footbolt is clearly ready to drink now, but I suspect that it will taste like a $30 bottle of Shiraz if you give it about 12 to 18 months of cellaring.
As for me, one case went onto the “everyday” shelf of our Eurocave, and the other half a case went onto one of the “save for later” shelves. If the latter 6 bottles manage to last 12 or 18 months, I’ll let you know how it is holding up. Also, if I get a chance, I plan to stop back and clean out any remaining bottles.
BTW — The producer is spelled d’Arenberg with an E, not d’Arenburg with an U.