d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
Notes of fennel, purple flowers and blossom mingling with ripe, varietal purple fruits and black pepper, dried herbs, game and spice. The palate opens with anise, black pepper, graphite and restrained dark cherries before it gives way to seductive mulberry, plum, licorice and spice. It has great power, depth and length with very vibrant, gritty fruit tannins providing immense structure.
Australian Wine Companion - "Deep colour; vivid hue; fresh black fruits, licorice, toasty oak and sappy complexity are all evident on the bouquet; the palate is dark and chewy, but falls short of being ponderous, as the wine progresses at an even and stately pace across the palate; excellent execution indeed."
Decanter - "The Dead Arm is consistently Chester's best wine, and this is a typical example of its old vine concentration. Sweet, dense and rich, but somehow poised and refreshing, with integrated oak, a hint of grilled meat and bright violet, plum and blackberry fruit. As good as the brilliant 2006."
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining purple. Dark berries, licorice, Indian spices, violet and cocoa powder on the highly complex nose. Concentrated and tactile, with superb depth and noteworthy definition to the black cherry and dark berry preserve flavors. Wonderfully broad but lively on the long, sappy, penetrating finish. The tannins are chewy but in no way dry or hard. The wine's excellent fruit will allow for early drinking."
The Wine Advocate - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 The Dead Arm Shiraz has a reduced rubber character to begin then pronounced aromas of warm blackberries, licorice, earth, thyme, moss and a whiff of game. Crisp, full and very concentrated in the mouth, it has firm, very fine tannins and a long earthy finish. Give it another year or two in bottle and drink it 2013 to 2020."
Wine Spectator - "This fresh, open-textured Shiraz is generous with its currant and plum fruit, mingling harmoniously with spicy notes on the slightly chalky finish. Drink now through 2016."
Wine Enthusiast - "Concentrated and intense, this wine features a potent whack of oak on the nose, with dark fruit and mocha overtones. There are enough hints of bright, raspberry-tinged fruit to warrant optimism about its aging trajectory, but at the moment it is dark, heavy and slightly scorched. Try after 2017. Cellar Selection."
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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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