d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2012
In 2012, d’Arenberg celebrated 100 years of family ownership. Established in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, the d’Arenberg story began with the purchase of a picturesque property atop one of the rolling hills of McLaren Vale. d’Arenberg now exports to over sixty countries and is one of Australia’s most revered wineries, with two wines in the Langton’s Classification of Australia Wine and a top rating in the Australian Wine Companion. Leading the celebrations in 2012 is the current Managing Director, 84 year old d’Arry Osborn OAM.
Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines 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, while low yielding, display amazing intensity.
It just goes to show that “big” doesn’t have to mean either unbalanced or oak-driven. This is all or mostly about rich, black berried fruit and raking tannin, the end then lengthy and fresh. It’s not over-the-top but it’s not shy of its power and intensity. Earth, spice and ferrous notes churn though the tangy sweetness of the fruit. A long life is as good as guaranteed. Rating: 95 Points; Drink: 2016-2030; Price: $65; Date Tasted: Nov 2015; Alcohol: 14.6%; Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
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