2004 d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The renowned 2004 Shiraz The Dead Arm, fashioned from ancient head-pruned vines, is stunning. An inky/purple color is accompanied by a glorious perfume of creosote/melted road tar, blackberry and cassis liqueur, pepper, and spice. This deep, rich, full-bodied, tannic Shiraz should be drinkable in 2-3 years, and will last for two decades or more. It is the finest Dead Arm since the 2001. (95+, RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated violet. Pungent tobacco- and espresso-laced cherry, cassis and blackberry aromas, with a hint of mocha. Beautiful dark berry, vanilla and Indian spice flavors expand and gain sweetness with air. The lushly tannic finish positively explodes with sweet raspberry and mulberry flavors, with dark chocolate and exotic blood orange notes adding a vibrant quality. An impressive return to form for d'Arenberg's flagship red.
Wine & Spirits
The intensity of fruit from ancient vines comes through in this dense, tarry wine, one of the top selections from d'Arenberg. The '04 feels huge, filled with warm, bitter chocolate tannin and raspberry essence. If you like massive reds, drink this now with a steak; it will mellow into something more approachable as it ages, probably best eight to ten years from the vintage.
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. An infection 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.