d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2003
Wine AdvocateOne of this estate's flagship wines, the 2003 The Dead Arm Shiraz appears to be better than the 2002. A deeper, richer, fuller-bodied offering that spent time in equal parts French and American oak, it possesses an opaque purple color, great intensity, and a fabulously sweet nose of blackberries, cassis, asphalt, earth, and oak. Powerful, super-concentrated, and obviously fashioned from low yields and old vines, this is a classic McLaren Vale old vine Shiraz that should age nicely for 15+ years.
Wine EnthusiastAnother top-flight Dead Arm, the 2003 boasts attractive scents of leather, spice, vanilla and boysenberries. The palate is lush and creamy, carrying earthy dark-fruited flavors enlivened by a bright streak of acidity. Turns chewy on the finish, suggesting short-term cellaring is in order. Try after 2008.
Wine SpectatorFirm, with a tannic feel to the green olive and berry flavors. This wine has been veering toward a green, earthy flavor profile in recent years, making it less immediately accessible than earlier vintages. Best after 2007. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 500 cases imported.