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.
Wine AdvocateThe renowned 2004 Shiraz The Dead Arm, fashioned from ancient head-pruned vines, is stunning. An inky/purple color is accompanied by a glorious perfume of creosote/melted road tar, blackberry and cassis liqueur, pepper, and spice. This deep, rich, full-bodied, tannic Shiraz should be drinkable in 2-3 years, and will last for two decades or more. It is the finest Dead Arm since the 2001.
Wine SpectatorFirm in texture, with crisp acidity against mineral-accented berry flavors, finishing with a harsh edge. Gamy, bitter flavors blow off with enough airing. Best after 2008. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 500 cases imported.