d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often vines affected are severely pruned or replanted. d'Arenberg believes that this is a natural part of vineyard life. One half, or arm of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side display amazing intensity.
Vintage 2005 could be summarized as a vintage that ripened without interruptions. The resulting wines are tight with amazing red fruit fragrance and lovely acidity. Crops yields were above average although slightly under the 2004 vintage.
Only the best barrels of Shiraz are selected to be bottled as The Dead Arm. The 2005 Dead Arm displays intense cedar, fig, blackberry, blueberry, and pepper aromas. Perfectly structured with a long and rich framework, it will yield this wine great aging power. After time in the bottle, the Dead Arm gains a biscuity, cinnamon, caramel and eucalyptus based bouquet on top of rich blackberry pie smells. Tobacco, mushroom, malt, spice and earth flavors play a complementary part on the long, fleshy finish.
The Wine Advocate - "D’Arenberg’s most famous wine is its flagship, The Dead Arm Shiraz. The 2005 The Dead Arm Shiraz is sourced from ancient head-pruned vines. It was aged for 22 months in a mix of new and used French and American oak. It is opaque purple/black with an expansive perfume of toast, smoke, spice box, mineral, pencil lead, tar, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry. Full-bodied, opulent, and super-concentrated, this structured, lengthy wine will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring and drink well through 2025."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky violet. Vibrant, perfumed nose melds blackberry, cassis, kirsch, licorice and dried flowers. On the palate, this shiraz shows an intriguing mix of sweet dark fruit flavors and firmer earth and mineral notes, with big but supple tannins contributing structure. The palate-staining finish features notes of bitter cherry, cured tobacco and high-octane chocolate. Nothing obvious here."
One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character. View all d'Arenberg Wines
About McLaren ValeView a map of McLaren Vale wineries
McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area, the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which leads to a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
Notable FactsIn McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the top grapes of the region, with some Cabernet Sauvignon planted as well. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the regions are excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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