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d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2006

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • RP95
  • JH95
  • WS91
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
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4.0 20 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's 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.
95+
JH 95
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.
WS 91
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.
WE 90
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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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, Australia
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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.

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McLaren Vale

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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 and alcohol 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.

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Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

WBW30070203_2006 Item# 95875