d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2002
Wine AdvocateThe 2002 The Dead Arm Shiraz was a challenge to effectively analyze. After the magnificent 2001, it comes across as lighter-styled, more elegant, but also closed and restrained. Several hours of aeration were beneficial, but this cuvee seems to be playing it close to the vest. However, there is power underneath the tannic structure. A deep ruby/purple color is followed by a backward, full-throttle Shiraz lacking the exuberance, unctuosity, and stunning concentration of the 2001 and 1998. It has noble breeding, but appears to be totally shut down at present. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2020.
Wine SpectatorRich, 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-textured finish that lasts and lasts. Drink now through 2020. 500 cases imported.
Wine EnthusiastImpresses 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?