d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz (375ML half-bottle) 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
Aromas of plum, red cherries and blueberries mingle with white and green pepper against a backdrop of fine oak. The ripe palate leads with dark berries, blood plums and black olives, tight and controlled with edges of dried garden herbs and gritty, mineral tannins.
The Wine Advocate - "d'Arenberg's flagship is the 2006 The Dead Arm Shiraz. Opaque purple-colored, the nose is reticent but gives up aromas of meat, bacon, game, truffles, blueberry, and blackberry. Firm, layered, and complex, this beautifully rendered Shiraz demands a decade of cellaring. It will be superb from 2018 to 2036. d'Arenberg has been owned and operated by the Osborn family since its inception in 1912. The portfolio, with a focus on the Rhone varieties, is wide ranging and value-oriented from top to bottom. The winery produces a bevy of value priced reds and whites that were reviewed in Issue 178. They should not be overlooked. At the higher end of the portfolio there is one white wine on which to report.
Australian Wine Companion - "The Dead Arm rarely fails to deliver an uncompromising essay on McLaren fruit; deeply concentrated with levels of dark chocolate, blackberry, nuances of florals and a freshness that belies its weight and power. Good value."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque ruby. Blackberry and candied cherry on the nose, with suave graphite and anise qualities adding complexity. Deep and rich but also focused, with powerful dark berry preserve flavors and a late kick of iron. There's lots going on here, and this energetic wine is still painfully young. Finishes with mounting sweetness and a strong echo of minerals."
Wine Spectator - "Lush and ripe, with an earthy animal component to the generous cherry, currant and exotic spice flavors that keep sailing on the long, supple finish. Drink now through 2016. 2,500 cases imported."
Wine Enthusiast - "Because of its often formidable structure, d'Arenberg's The Dead Arm is a difficult wine to evaluate when young. The 2006 is dark and extracted, with intense cassis, coffee and chocolate notes but not much complexity or elegance. Those should come with time; the firmness of the lingering finish suggests cellaring through 2014."
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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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