d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2003

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2003


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Upon release d'Arenberg's The Dead Arm Shiraz has a vivid young deep purple colour. The nose shows intense and complex cedary, fig, blackberry and blueberry like smells occasionally pepper/spice smells too. Vanilla mocha oak smells and attacking blackberry, cassis characters are also evident on the palate. Full, intense sweet, cedary middle palate flavours have a distinctly silky, svelte texture deceptively disguises the rich powerful cassis and toffee-mocha flavours. The accent is on powerful full-bodied berry fruit flavour, with a little sweet English toffee- like oak evident on the juicy, rolling finish. After time in bottle the d'Arenberg's Dead Arm gains a biscuity, cinnamon, caramel and eucalyptus based bouquet on top of rich blackberry pie smells. Tobacco, mushrooms, malt, and earth aromas play a part on the long, elegant fleshy, chocolate mint flavours. Restrained tannin and acidity coupled with rich alcohol, produce a seamless, peppery, velvety rolling length.
Category Red Wine
Region Australia, South Australia, McLaren Vale
Brand d'Arenberg
Alcohol/vol 14.5%
  • wa95

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.

Robert Parker, October 2005
  • we90

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.

Joe Czerwinski, December 15, 2006
  • ws86

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.

Harvey Steiman, September 30, 2005