|Color & Type
For d’Arenberg’s Dead Arm Shiraz, small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five ton open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending and foot treading is undertaken two-thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barrels to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
The name Dead Arm pays a sort of tribute to a vine disease. Caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world, the result leaves one half of the vine, or an 'arm', 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 most significant wineries in McLaren Vale, d’Arenberg was established in 1912 when Joseph Osborn, a teetotaler and director of Thomas Hardy and Sons, sold his stable of prize winning horses to purchase the property that now houses the winery, cellar door, and d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant.
Chester Osborn, fourth generation family member and Chief Winemaker since 1984, has forged a reputation for producing strikingly individual wines and melding tradition and innovation. He has rejuvenated the 70 year old cellars and 19th Century vineyards and oversees all aspects of winemaking, viticulture and marketing.
Discovering new varieties suited to the diverse terroir of McLaren Vale has been an ongoing passion for Chester. Early in his tenure, he took leave from the winery and spent most of a year on a viticultural and oenological tour of France, Italy, Germany and Spain. He has since introduced many varieties to the region including Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Tempranillo and Souzao. d’Arenberg now makes wine from over 33 different varieties.
Minimal input viticulture is employed across d’Arenberg owned, leased and contracted vineyards to ensure grape quality and environmental responsibility. This includes minimal or no irrigation, no soil cultivation, minimal spraying and most importantly, no fertilization. This natural and environmentally friendly philosophy encourages strong root systems that penetrate multiple levels of soil which is reflected in lively tannin structures, soil characters and fine minerality.
d'Arenberg is the only winery in Australia to basket press white wines as well as reds, making for a labor intensive process, but the quality of the results makes this worthwhile. This pressing is controlled and extremely gentle. White wines are basket pressed before fermentation to ensure no color or tannins are extracted from the skins, and the reds are pressed afterwards. After pressing, barrel fermented components are aged on lees to slow aging and keep the wine fresh, while also reducing oak influence. There is no racking until the final blending, and the wines do not undertake fining or filtration prior to bottling.