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d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2004

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP95
  • JH94
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Winemaker Notes

Upon release, d'Arenberg's The Dead Arm Shiraz has a vivid, young, dense purple-red color. The nose shows intense and complex cedary, fig, blackberry, blueberry, and pepper aromas.

Attacking spicy dark cherry, plum and blackberry fruit dominate the taste with a complex, slightly acetone, liquorice, prune richness and silkiness leading to a slight cedar, mineral and svelte array of tannins. The length comes right back to gritty, vibrant fruit tannins giving the wine great ageability.

After time in bottle, the d'Arenberg Dead Arm gains a biscuity, cinnamon, caramel and eucalyptus based bouquet on top of rich blackberry pie smells. Tobacco, mushroom, malt and earth aromas play a part on the long, fleshy, chocolate mint and spice flavors. Restrained tannin and acidity coupled with rich alcohol produce a seamless, peppery, velvety, rolling length.

"The renowned 2004 Shiraz The Dead Arm, fashioned from ancient head-pruned vines, is stunning. An inky/purple color is accompanied by a glorious perfume of creosote/melted road tar, blackberry and cassis liqueur, pepper, and spice. This deep, rich, full-bodied, tannic Shiraz should be drinkable in 2-3 years, and will last for two decades or more. It is the finest Dead Arm since the 2001."
-The Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

RP 95
The Wine Advocate

JH 94
Australian Wine Companion

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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, , Australia
d'Arenberg
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.

Alexander Valley

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A source of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that can rival its Napa Valley neighbors, the Alexander Valley is the hottest AVA in the county. This large and heavily planted appellation is only 25 miles from the coast, but it is relatively free of fog due to the sheltering effects of the mountain ranges in between. However, the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cool-climate pockets and soft, alluvial soil ideal for grape-growing.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties as well as Zinfandel thrive here, all of which take on a bold and voluptuous personality. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have been discovered here, and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

OPI28114_2004 Item# 89078

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