d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2004
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
d'Arenberg is one of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and other Rhone varieties that have historically defined the region. A century on, their vineyards have grown to some 450 acres in McLaren Vale, including Shiraz dating back to d'Arenberg's first plantings in 1912, and nearly one-third of McLaren Vale's old bush-vine Grenache. Fourth generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, recently converted all of the family's vineyards to organics and biodynamics and moved to solar energy in the winery. All the while, in terms of winemaking, not much has changed--all the wines are basket-pressed, the reds foot-trodden during fermentation; everything is done in small batches, leading to an impressive array of bottlings every year, each showing a different facet of McLaren Vale terroir. Having been inducted into Wine & Spirits Magazine's Hall of Fame for earning a place on its Top 100 Wineries nine times, this accolade is a reflection of d'Arenberg's revered reputation worldwide.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône Blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style. Whites, often made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc tend to be opulent and full of tropical, stone and citrus fruit.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”