2009 d'Arenberg "Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 The Dead Arm Shiraz presents an intense and complex nose of blackberry preserves and dried mulberries over coffee, black olives, smoky bacon and humus. The palate is richly fruited and nicely balanced with layers of savory and dark berry flavors and crisp acid textured by medium-firm finely grained tannins. It finishes long with hints of menthol and marmite toast coming through. It should be drinking best 2013 to 2024+. (LPB)
Deep, inky purple-crimson; in archetypal Dead Arm style, powerful and rich, but given some welcome lift by the mix of bitter chocolate and savoury/spicy notes on the palate. This is a style that will not change any time soon, and, within that context, is a good example.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Opaque ruby. A complex, floral-accented bouquet displays cherry-cola, cassis, bacon fat, licorice and candied violet. Initially firm and linear but quickly unfolds to offer sweet dark berry and bitter cherry flavors and an overlay of baking spices. Vanilla and cola nuances build with air and carry through a long, gently tannic, focused finish. Very rich but I get no impression of excess weight here.
Wine & Spirits
Named for the eutypa fungus that kills off one side of a bush vine, leaving the fruit on the other side that much more concentrated, The Dead Arm is d’Arenberg’s top selection from their old-vine shiraz. The 2009 is dense but not jammy, the rich black cherry juiciness lifted by tannins that fall somewhere between silk and satin. There’s a generosity to the wine that’s tied as much to its earthiness as to its fruit. Appealing now with lamb, this will gain from several years in the cellar.
**Cellar Selection** As always, d’Arenberg’s top Shiraz isn’t all cuddles and charm. It’s rather firm in texture, with rugged tannins that impart a dusty edge to the lengthy finish. But this vintage the fruit comes through clearer than it has sometimes in the past, bringing bright berry notes that marry well with hints of campfire smoke and grilled meat. Try a bottle after 2016.