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d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
  • JH96
  • D95
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • JH95
  • RP92
  • JS94
  • RP95
  • D94
  • JH93
  • JH96
  • RP93
  • RP95
  • JH94
  • W&S92
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  • RP92
  • RP95
  • JH95
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • RP95
  • RP95
  • JH94
  • RP95
  • JH93
  • RP92
  • RP98
  • JH93
  • JH94
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • RP96
  • WS91
  • JH91
  • RP96
  • JH94
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2.0 2 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JH 96
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.
D 95
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.
RP 91
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 90
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.
WE 90
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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d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg

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d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, Australia
2008 The Dead Arm Shiraz
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.

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, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

OBCDEADARM_2008 Item# 105925

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