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. One half, or an 'arm' of the vine is slowly reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.
The nose is very aromatic, floral and youthful. There is a fascinating amount of intensity that draws you back. The lavender floral notes along with plum and blackberries are the most pronounced while the enigmatic beauty of this wine lies in the next layer of extremely alluring pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and hint of five spice.
The opulent palate is rich and dense with staggering concentration. Crushed ants, rhubarb, and deep earth add to the complexity. The chewy tannins are abundant and balanced by the fruit power. Building through the palate the tannins provide for a long, vibrant, savoury and spicy finish.
The Dead Arm Shiraz 2007 manages to balance focus and complexity superbly . The structure is muscular and the fruit powerful, yet it maintains a pretty elegance which is allowed to flourish with deft use of oak.
"Deep, dark red-purple; a very powerful wine proclaiming its regional origin with a strong overlay of dark chocolate, licorice and earth to the underlying blackberry fruit; stringent selection of grapes/wine has paid dividends. Screwcap."
Australian Wine Companion
"The Dead Arm is Chester Osborn's punchdrunk love song to his most ancient and physically challenged shiraz vines. Even in McLaren's difficult 2007 vintage, they produced a pretty astonishing wine. Its succulent raspberry flavor meets vibrant and sweet mineral character as the tannins sweep into the finish. Concentrated, supple and powerfully rich, this is a wine to buy in magnum and to serve at ten years of age with grilled lamb."
Wine & Spirits
"D'Arenberg's flagship is the 2007 The Dead Arm Shiraz. Opaque purple-colored, the nose gives up aromas of meat, game, truffles, chocolate, blueberry, and blackberry. Firm, layered, and complex, this beautifully rendered Shiraz demands 5-7 years of cellaring. It will be at its best from 2015 to 2027."
The Wine Advocate
"Opaque ruby. Deep, pungent aromas of blackcurrant, boysenberry, cola, graphite and potpourri. Lush and creamy in texture, offering sweet black and blue fruit flavors and building notes of licorice and candied flowers. Gentle tannins frame the fruit and extend through an impressively long, sappy finish. This is suave enough to drink right now."
International Wine Cellar