2016 d'Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale: $44.94 (was: $54.94)*
One of our annual Aussie favorites, ‘The Dead Arm’ Shiraz from d’Arenberg is an unapologetic old-vine red from the McLaren Vale that earns universal praise in pretty much every vintage. At under 50 bucks, the price itself is notable for a small-production release made from 100+ year old head pruned Shiraz vines, but that’s not why we love it. The Dead Arm just screams McLaren Vale, with powerful fruit supported by incredible depth and structure. Routinely earning scores in the mid 90s, Shiraz fans should always have some d’Arenberg around, and you’ll want to stock up today as this never stays in stock for long!
The Dead Arm is “d'Arenberg's finest cuvee” according to Robert Parker, and with “cascading chocolate and plum” notes along with “serious depth” (Decanter), The Dead Arm is not a shy Shiraz. It’s large scale profile of tannin and fruit makes it a serious enough wine to stand up to even the most flavorful BBQ and it’s balance will convert Aussie skeptics, too. The Dead Arm is named for a rare affliction that causes one ‘arm’ of a vine to wither, resulting in ultra concentrated grapes on the remaining healthy arm. Fourth generation proprietor Chester Osbourn eschews chemicals, fertilizers, and even irrigation in an effort to coax the most out of these ancient vines.
Founded back in 1912, d’Arenberg has a wealth of old-vine material that for many years was sold to Penfolds. Today the Dead Arm is their signature wine and the perfect Shiraz for Aussie fans to grab by the case!
95 points, Decanter: "Cascading chocolate and plum and a herbal bitters note. Serious depth, rigorous tannins and acidity."
94 points, James Suckling: "Impressive richness and depth from the outset here. The nose has rich dark-plum, chocolate and earth aromas with such poise and richness. The palate is full-bodied with saturated plums and blackberries. Long, ribbony tannins."
94 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: "...Rich, concentrated and full-bodied, it's densely textured and packed with notes of blackberries, asphalt, black olives and dried spices...The wine's considerable tannins are fine-grained and should soften nicely with age, as they already turn almost silky on the finish. Cellar this outstanding effort for 3-4 years and drink it over the next couple of decades."
*Offer publication date September 4, 2020. Pricing and availability subject to change.