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d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale , Australia
  • JH 96
  • D 95
  • ST 92
  • RP 91
  • WE 90
  • WS 90
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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

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

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.

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ST 92
International Wine Cellar

Glass-staining purple. Dark berries, licorice, Indian spices, violet and cocoa powder on the highly complex nose. Concentrated and tactile, with superb depth and noteworthy definition to the black cherry and dark berry preserve flavors. Wonderfully broad but lively on the long, sappy, penetrating finish. The tannins are chewy but in no way dry or hard. The wine's excellent fruit will allow for early drinking.

RP 91
The 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.

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.

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.


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d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, Australia
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... View More