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2009 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Syrah
about this wine:
"This estate's most renowned offering is their old vine Shiraz (90+ year old vines) called The Dead Arm. The unfined/unfiltered 1999 The Dead Arm Shiraz (2,000 cases) was aged in 100% new oak, of which 70% was American and 30% French..."
'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.
One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals. With vineyards over 100 years old and utilizing minimal handling techniques that include the use of 19th century basket presses (for both white and red wines), foot treading and small batch fermentations, the range displays incredible depth, from the flagship Icon's right through to the entry level "The Stump Jump's". Owned by the same family since its founding in 1912 - four generations of learning have provided current Chief Winemaker, Chester Osborn, with an intimate knowledge of his vineyards (now totaling over 270 acres). One of Australia's greatest producers of old vine shiraz and grenache - one of the few wineries to boast vineyards that are over 100 years old - provides the estate with fruit of incredible intensity. A pioneer of McLaren Vale - over the decades d'Arenberg has introduced many wines that have become defining styles for the region and today remains an industry innovator, championing such varieties as viognier, marsanne and roussanne. Unique fruit handling procedures - d'Arenberg is perhaps the only Australian winery to utilize nineteenth century basket presses in making all of its wines (both white and red) - this provides extremely gentle pressing and avoids excessive extraction. Their crushing techniques are so gentle that the odd lizard that gets caught up in the receival bins actually survive! Foot treading (in rubber waders!) of the red varieties is a time honored practice at d'Arenberg.
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