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The Dead Arm Shiraz is the pinnacle of the d' Arenberg range and it's definitely for people who enjoy big, bold wines that really pack a punch! The Dead Arm Shiraz 2008 manages to balance focus and complexity superbly - structured and powerful fruit flavour yet remains completely elegant.

The d' Arenberg shiraz vineyards vary greatly in their soil composition. Despite their similar appellation (McLaren Vale) individual plots are markedly different due to the fact that the area features glacial deposits, beach sand and limestone. Soils influence the fruit characters significantly. Vineyards with shallow sands on clay impart the vibrant perfume and length. The red earth on limestone soils across the hill tops adds an extra level of spice and a lively intensity to the fruit and tannins. Shallow loams on marley limestone clays gives the fruit its late emerging liquorice characters and firm gutsy tannins.

The ripening ranges in many of our vineyards differ such that we pick individual parts of each vineyard at separate times to ensure correct fruit flavour and character.

100% Shiraz

2008 is a tale of two vintages for red wines in McLaren Vale. Winter rain ensured the soil reached filled capacity and set the vines up perfectly with healthy balanced canopies.

A normal spring and an unseasonably cool January and February meant most vines remained stress free. Flavour ripeness was achieved at reasonably low sugar levels and high natural acidity for early picked parcels. A sustained heat wave in early March accelerated ripeness and picking, resulting in riper in some wines. However The Dead Arm only receives the finest parcels, most of which were picked before the heatwave, therefore reflecting the best part of the 2008 vintage.

Walking the old Shiraz vineyards and tasting grapes, Chester Osborn classifies and determines the ideal picking time for each individual vineyard. Small batches are crushed in the Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber toothed crusher and then trans- ferred to five-tonne headed-down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending.

Foot treading is undertaken on most parcels two thirds of the way through fermentation. When tannin extraction is just right the wine is basket pressed and transferred to spend 18 months in new & used French Oak barriques &?old American Oak barriques to complete primary and secondary fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees to keep the wine fresh while also reducing the oak influence. There is no racking until final blending. Chester undertakes an extensive barrel tasting process to determine the final blend. The Dead Arm does not undertake fining or filtration prior to bottling which may result in a harmless deposit in or adhering to the bottle.

The heady aroma is both powerful and pretty with notes of fennel, purple flowers and blossom mingling with ripe, varietal purple fruits and black pepper.

The oak is hardly evident which allows fruit and soil complexities to emerge with edges of rhubarb and red mulberry and savoury characters of dried herbs, game and spice.

The palate opens with anise, black pepper, graphite and restrained dark cherries before it gives way to seductive mulberry, plum, licorice and spice. It has great power, depth and length with very vibrant, gritty fruit tannins providing immense structure. Notes of anise and spice linger for a long time after the last sip.

The Dead Arm 2008 strikes a rare balance of power, complexity and finesse with impressive structure that will reward those with patience to cellar it.

CLOSURE:    Stelvin

ALCOHOL:    14.5% (10.9 units per bottle)

Per Bottle 26.99


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