D’Arenberg The Hermit Crab, Viognier / Marsanne, Adelaide – Australia 2009

Posted on by Kris

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne Adelaide 2009.


72% Viognier 28% Marsanne


You’re excused if you haven’t seen this kind of blend before, Viognier and Marsanne are more commonly found blended together in the Southern Rhone region of France.

D’Arenberg is certainly one of the most recognized wineries in Southern Australia. The company was established back in 1912 by Joseph Osborn after he purchased land in what has now become the McLaren Vale. Interesting thing to note is that Joseph wasn’t “one of us”. He was a total abstainer from alcohol!

The Osborn family is now into its fourth generation, but the fifth generation of Alicia, Ruby and Mia Osborn are ready and raring to go! They still have a little time left to wait though; the trio are all still under 15 years old.

The Osburn family arrived at the name Hermit Crab for a couple of reasons. “Hermit” comes from shorting the French appellation of Hermitage, the region where the Marsanne grape variety is more commonly found.
Millions of years ago, the Hermit Crab is known to be one of the crustaceans which called this region of Southern Australia home. Throughout a lot of the vineyards you can still find their abandoned shells.

Head Winemaker, Chester Osborn, makes his decision on when to harvest the grapes by getting back to basics. Walking the vineyard rows and tasting the grapes.

The 2009 vintage of the Hermit Crab received 90 points in the Wine Speculator, if you’re into that kind of thing…

The wine is bottle under screw-cap, a common practice for wines of all price throughout this region of Australia.


Oh the wonders of modern technology! This is my first wine review using an embedded Google Earth Tour . Press play and check it out for a closer look at the Adelaide region of Australia.

The Adelaide Hills has one of the most diverse climates in all of Southern Australia, this due to its proximity to the Mount Lofty Mountain Ranges. If you go a little further north, you’ll find the Eden Valley and Barossa Valley wine region. Head south, and you’ll be in the McLaren Vale.

The first vines were thought to have been planted in the Adelaide Hills in 1839, yet Australia is still referred to as a New World wine producing country.

The Adelaide Hills region is one of the coolest (as in temperature) out of all of Australia’s wine producing regions, due to its proximity to the Ocean. This, of course, makes the region very well suited to cooler climate white grapes, and thin-skinned red grapes such as Pinot Noir.

It’s estimated that around half of all Australian wine consumed today comes in either a bag or a cardboard box. I personally had no idea it was this high! That’s why I love the Aussie’s. They don’t give a damn!

Interesting thing to note in this vintage the majority of the grapes come from the Adelaide Hills, whereas with the 2008 the majority came from the McLaren Vale.

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne Adelaide 2009 Glass


The apricot and peach flavors really explode as you pour it into the glass! Just a beautiful perfume on the nose! The stone fruit flavors continue on the palate, also with green apple and just a hint of nectarine and pink grapefruit. The fruit gives way to floral and spice flavors, a slight nutty quality, all ending with a creamy mouthfeel. Not too acidic, but enough to keep it interesting. The ever so slight amount of oak treatment, gives a definite additional layer of complexity and spice.
This is back-patio wine, but could also do some serious damage (in a good way) when paired with the right food dish! I could drink this all day.

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne Adelaide 2009 Screw-cap


Think about apricots, nuts, lightly-spiced dishes such as curry, fish with creamy sauces, spicy shrimp alfredo, roast chicken, salads with nuts, and crab with Old Bay seasoning.



d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne Adelaide 2009 - Back Label

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