2002 D'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Clean and quite fragrant; abundant blackberry and dark chocolate fruit; controlled extract and good balance.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
After re-tasting the 2002 The Dead Arm Shiraz, I believe my initial rating is correct. It still plays it close to the vest, exhibiting loads of cassis, asphalt, smoke, and barbecue spice-like aromas along with full-bodied flavors... well-made and impressive, it remains backward and restrained...
Rich, complex, but not at all heavy-handed, a plush, heady mouthful of black cherry, blackberry, menthol and a wee touch of forest mushroom, all mingling in a rich finish that lasts and lasts. Drink now through 2020.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright full ruby. Varietally expressive aromas of currant, espresso, smoke, gunflint and sexy oak, with a distinctly feral note. Highly concentrated, dense and smoky, with a strong syrah note of gunflint. Broad, mouthfilling shiraz with lovely framing acidity, intriguing minerality and impressively sweet tannins.
Impresses the hell out of you on the first look--it offers controlled, pretty plum and berry fruit on the palate, with black pepper, cassis and graham cracker aromas. Overexamine it, though, and you start to find things that you wish were different (for me, it wants more intensity midpalate), but that doesn't mean that this isn't delicious. Why not just sit back and enjoy the mocha-laden finish, and leave analysis to another day?