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. Pour in your glass and you will see a crimson-purple color with a subtle ruby halo. A swirl in the glass and fragrant aromas of dark plum, blackberry fruits, boysenberries, subtle black pepper and a touch of liquorice will come straight up. On the palate is where the wine becomes fascinating. Rich and opulent black fruits, plums, blackberries and boysenberries are intertwined with cured meat, mocha, peppery spices and a plush coat of red cherries. Tannins are ripe and velvety. Acidity, alcohol and oak balance are impeccable, the length ditto. Great drinking now but will cellar well too.