d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz
d’Arenberg The Dead Arm
2002/2003 Vintages (cork, not screw-cap)
Notes from the Producer
The name for this wine is often joked about. Some thought the wine to be so big and heavy that your arm hardly worked after consuming a reasonable amount.
Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over
the world. Often vines affected are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an ‘arm’ of the vine
slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the
other side display amazing intensity.
The 2002 season was characterised by a cold, wet winter and spring, which produced lower yields with good, thick-skinned berries. The cool and dry summer ripened fruit gradually and a warm, dry autumn allowed the grapes to ripen fully, producing some of the best and most exotic characters seen for many years.
Each batch of fruit received is gently crushed in our Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber-toothed crusher so as many of the berries as possible remain whole. After crushing, the must is transferred to open fermenters where the seeds and skins are permanently submerged beneath the free run juice. The must receives no plunging or pumping over while fermentation occurs.
Once the primary fermentation is nearly complete, traditional foot-treading takes place prior to basketpressing. The highly clarified juice is then transferred to barrel to complete its primary and secondary fermentation. During the first 12 months of fermentation every barrel is individually assessed for quality. Only the best barrels are selected to complete the final stage of maturation in barrel prior to blending and labelling under the Icon label of The Dead Arm Shiraz.
Upon release, ‘The Dead Arm’ Shiraz has a vivid, young, dense, purple-red colour. Very intense aromas with a complex combination of fragrant spices and violets, dark cherry, blackberry and blueberry, are made more complex with great liquorice, pepper and
integrated svelte of boot-polish like characters. The taste is rich, gutsy and virile, with attacking spicy, dark liquorice, cherry, blackberry, plum and dried black olive. The level of fruit weight masks the framework of tannins; however, the mineral grittiness balanced with a very long fruit-fragrant, persistent spice will yield a wine of great ageing power. After time in bottle, ‘The Dead Arm’ gains a biscuity, cinnamon, chocolate, earthy, eucalyptus-based bouquet on top of rich blackberry pie smells. Tobacco, mushroom, malt and earth aromas play a part on the long, fleshy, chocolate mint and spice flavours. This wine will develop with a great balance of tannins, acidity and fruit. Classic McLaren Vale…