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Professional Ratings: 95 The Wine Advocate, 95 Australian Wine Companion, 93 International Wine Cellar, 91 Wine Spectator, 90 Wine Enthusiast
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Other Info: Collectible Wines, Green Wines
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 95875
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.