2014 d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $55) SKU #1379552

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JH 95 W&S 94 DC 93
JS 92 RP 92
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

The name "Dead Arm" comes from the vine being affected by Eutypa. When this happens, one arm of the vine slowly dies and falls off, hence the name "Dead Arm". The one arm of the vine that remains produces fruit of greater concentration and intensity since all the vine's energy can be channeled into the single arm. It is uncommon to see wine made from these vines as many are torn out and replanted. This is a rare and supremely delicious take on Shiraz. (Stefanie Juelsgaard, K&L Australia Buyer) *94 pts Wine front* The d’Arenberg wine range is giddying in its scope now, so much so that I don’t know what is meant to be flagship, so in my mind, and I guess many, this, Dead Arm, is The One. Good year for red wines from The Vale. (MB)

Staff Reviews

  • Kaj Stromer
    By: Kaj Stromer
    K&L Staff Member
    I used to call this wine the “poor mans” Grange. But there is nothing poverty about this wine as it totally stands up to the best of its kind. The Dead Arm is the kind of Shiraz that others tried to duplicate but seldom could. The wine possesses all the rich bold, dark fruit you come to expect from Aussie Shiraz but it's also perfectly balanced with a finesse the likes of which only truly great wines possess. You can approach this wine now but it will slumber soundly in your cellar for years to come if you chose. In which case, please call me when you open it. This is a real achievement.
  • Stefanie Juelsgaard
    By: Stefanie Juelsgaard
    K&L Staff Member
    Any winery that takes the time and man power to foot tread every one of their wines, definitely takes winemaking seriously. Named after the Eutypa fungus that affects some vineyards, the 'Dead Arm' refers to one half of the vine that rots and falls off, while the fruit that lives on the remaining arm grows more concentrated and complex. That effect is very evident in this wine, as it showcases unbelievable power and structure. This is not one of the Shiraz fruit-bombs you may associate with Australia. This fruit comes from cooler-site McLaren Vale and the lift and tannin in the wine certainly showcase it's terroir. D'Arenberg is a highly sought after winery in Australia and after tasting this wine, it's not hard to see why.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    I had almost forgotten what a pleasure the Dead Arm from d'Arenberg is. Years ago, this was my go to wine from Australia with its generous fruit and savory spices. I remember buying a six pack of the 2002 and drinking it over the subsequent years and loving it every time. This new vintage reminds me of that past one with its deep flavors of blueberry and Maraska cherries with a touch of minty goodness. This ripeness persists but good focus and balance keep it on point. I'm equally glad to see the price has not reached the stratosphere either but given the pedigree and consistent quality, this wine from another region could've fetched twice the price. Wonderful!
  • Trey Beffa
    By: Trey Beffa
    K&L Staff Member
    It has been awhile since I tasted a bottle of Shiraz. The “Dead Arm” was structured much like a Cabernet and did not remind me of the many Shiraz wines I tasted 15 years ago. This wine has quite a bit of grip. It is a sturdy and firm wine that is packed with a core of blackberry fruit, anise, mocha and earth. It should be a wine to drink with a good beef dish and develop well in a cellar over the next 10 years!
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    The Dead Arm is always a terrific expression of Shiraz, and this 2014 is no exception. Aromas of blackerries, tar, clove and other baking spices are forward, yet nuanced, deep and layered. On the palate, the fruit is textbook, higher toned McLaren Vale shiraz, with a freshness and structural backbone that makes it so tasty now, but promises a long future ahead for those who prefer to age it.


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