2008 d'Arenberg "Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Deep colour; vivid hue; fresh black fruits, licorice, toasty oak and sappy complexity are all evident on the bouquet; the palate is dark and chewy, but falls short of being ponderous, as the wine progresses at an even and stately pace across the palate; excellent execution indeed.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Glass-staining purple. Dark berries, licorice, Indian spices, violet and cocoa powder on the highly complex nose. Concentrated and tactile, with superb depth and noteworthy definition to the black cherry and dark berry preserve flavors. Wonderfully broad but lively on the long, sappy, penetrating finish. The tannins are chewy but in no way dry or hard. The wine's excellent fruit will allow for early drinking. (JR)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2008 The Dead Arm Shiraz has a reduced rubber character to begin then pronounced aromas of warm blackberries, licorice, earth, thyme, moss and a whiff of game. Crisp, full and very concentrated in the mouth, it has firm, very fine tannins and a long earthy finish. Give it another year or two in bottle and drink it 2013 to 2020. (LPB)
*Cellar Selection* Concentrated and intense, this wine features a potent whack of oak on the nose, with dark fruit and mocha overtones. There are enough hints of bright, raspberry-tinged fruit to warrant optimism about its aging trajectory, but at the moment it is dark, heavy and slightly scorched. Try after 2017. (JC)
This fresh, open-textured Shiraz is generous with its currant and plum fruit, mingling harmoniously with spicy notes on the slightly chalky finish. (HS)
Dead Arm? What kind of name is that you might ask. D'Arenberg has a stable of funny names worthy of a good Aussie sense of humor, but 'dead arm' is actually descriptive of the vines from which the grapes for this wine come. A known problem in vines can cause one arm of a vine to die off, which would normally be a bad thing (half the fruit), but the other side of the vine can then produce an incredibly intense crop of fruit. This is the case for the vines producing Dead Arm. The deep, dark and powerful fruit in this wine is immediately evident and the result of using these low producing vines. The wine is pretty spectacular and has been an incredibly popular wine for many vintages here at K&L.