2006 d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale (Previously $50)

SKU #1045225

95+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "D'Arenberg's flagship is the 2006 The Dead Arm Shiraz. Opaque purple-colored, the nose is reticent but gives up aromas of meat, bacon, game, truffles, blueberry, and blackberry. Firm, layered, and complex, this beautifully rendered Shiraz demands a decade of cellaring. It will be superb from 2018 to 2036." (02/09) 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Opaque ruby. Blackberry and candied cherry on the nose, with suave graphite and anise qualities adding complexity. Deep and rich but also focused, with powerful dark berry preserve flavors and a late kick of iron. There's lots going on here, and this energetic wine is still painfully young. Finishes with mounting sweetness and a strong echo of minerals." (Sep/Oct 08) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Lush and ripe, with an earthy animal component to the generous cherry, currant and exotic spice flavors that keep sailing on the long, supple finish. Drink now through 2016." (09/09) 90 points and a Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast: "Because of its often formidable structure, d'Arenberg's The Dead Arm is a difficult wine to evaluate when young. The 2006 is dark and extracted, with intense cassis, coffee and chocolate notes but not much complexity or elegance. This should come with time; the firmness of the lingering finish suggests cellaring through 2014." (08/09)

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Price: $42.99

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 By: Jason Chiu |  Review Date: 5/12/2010 
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Had this wine twice, at a bridge party and at the Spectator grand tour. At the bridge party, the meaty nose and supple palette complimented the pizza with salami, prosciutto, etc. Also, the complex fruit (blueberry, blackberry, black cherry) and lingering finish made it a pleasant sipping wine for the evening. A direct comparison with the Torbreck Shiraz Barossa Valley 2006, where the yields were reduced to 30 hectolitres per hectare, revealed structure and concentration that lends itself to bottle aging. The winemaker suggests looking forward to the 2007 for those who enjoy powerful shiraz from a drought year.
Drink from 2016 to 2026

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

McLaren Vale