Before being renamed The Footbolt Shiraz in 1996, the Old Vine Shiraz was the first wine to use the term ‘Old Vine’. The founder of d’Arenberg, Joseph Osborn, was a successful racehorse owner and Footbolt was the pride of his stable. In 1912 he made the hard decision to sell his stable of horses to start d’Arenberg, so it is only fitting that d’Arenberg pay homage to Joseph and his prize horse, Footbolt. Small batches of grapes are crushed gently and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation.The wine is then basket pressed and then transferred to a mixture of new and used French and American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, and there is no racking until final blending. This wine does not undertake fining or filtration prior to bottling.
The Footbolt is a reliable McLaren Vale Shiraz. This is a great value comfort red. It’s reflective of the warm 2016 vintage with plum, black fruits and liquorice. It’s quite complex for a wine at this price point with a good backbone of acidity and attractive earthy undertones. The oak is well integrated with medium level tannin, resulting in a wine that drinks well now but will also cellar for the next 5-10 years.