2006 d' Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 375 ml

Year: 2006
Appellation: McLaren Vale
Country: Australia
Wine Advocate: 95+
Vinous Media: 93
Jeremy Oliver on Australian Wine: 95
Red Wine
Price :
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"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." (WA)

"($65) 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." (IWC)

"Fine-grained, balanced and savoury, this warm but not overcooked shiraz builds towards a powerful crescendo of flavour. Its deep aromas of bloody red fruits, currants, plums and berries are backed by slightly meaty cedar/vanilla oak and undertones of licorice, cloves and white pepper. It's long, smooth and luscious, with a deep presence of sour-edged black and red fruits and star anise underpinned by smooth, satiny tannins. It finishes long and savoury, with an hint of saltiness.(18.8/95, YTD 2018-2026) " (JO)

Three or four years ago Aussie wines were hot. Really hot. And I’m not just talking about their alcohol content. Premium wineries like d’Arenberg were selling high-end Shiraz like it was going out of style. Well, it turns out it was going out of style. But you know what? These are the same great wines that were flying off the shelves a few years ago and savvy consumers are starting to rediscover Australia – at a lower price tag.

The Dead Arm is d’Arenberg’s top Shiraz and the 2006 vintage was absolutely spectacular. It scored 95+ points from Parker and 93 from Tanzer with the former saying it will last 30 years beyond its vintage date. That’s a serious wine. Since this deal is only available in half bottles, it’s a perfect purchase for solo drinking (I can personally attest to this), or to supplement another partially consumed bottle. Or you can just open two bottles. Usually this doesn’t make sense because two half bottles cost more than a full, but in this case two halves are cheaper than the lowest price I can find for a whole.

This is a massive wine that handles the high percentage of new French and American oak well. Bright cherries on the nose transition in to dark blueberry reduction on the palate with a cutting acidity to balance. Mineral flavors lurk underneath the huge fruit and with age, these will emerge to form a stunning, sophisticated wine. (Nickel & Dime)

Winery Notes:
Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often vines affected are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.

Fruit is gently crushed in an open-mouthed, rubber-toothed, Demoisy crusher before being transferred to open vessels for fermentation. Here the cap is permanently submerged beneath the free run juice, avoiding any harsh plunging or pumping over. Traditional foot-treading takes place after fermentation is complete, then gentle basket pressing precedes transfer to barrel for 20 months maturation. After this time every barrel is individually assessed for quality, only the best barrels being selected for inclusion in The Dead Arm Shiraz.

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.