The 2003 season was characterised by a very low winter rainfall which signalled the vine to minimize potential crop load. The ripening period was warm producing a crop load of small berries and very pure, ripe fruit characters.
Even with a smaller than normal crop load many batches showed wonderful fruit characters due to an excellent skin to pulp ratios and this is evident in the final wine. This year in particular selected parcels of fruit deemed worthy of the Dead Arm label were down 50% in volume.
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The nose shows intense blackcurrant and cranberry fruit, and the subtle cedary cinnamon spice, barrel-ferment and oak derived aromas, violet and mint scents, as well as liquorice and chocolate smells. Interwined is this wounderful green edge that lifts the wine into a cool climate sepctrum which typifies the cold year. These aromas combine with some cassis, blueberry, and cranberry, with lingering mocha and plumy fruit and are just showing through amongst a long, intense vibrant, gritty fruit tannin finish.
Deep purple colour. This wine possesses a complex bouquet of red berries, cedar, mint, tobacco, espresso and chocolate. This wine displays a soft coating texture; the rich fruit drives straight across the palate displaying a medium to full bodied intensity. Flavours of cloves, chocolate and lifted purple fruits mingle with the unobtrusive oak.
Appears bright cherry red with a darker plum coloured core. The nose shows licorice and dark fruits, toasty oak with a chocolatey rum & raisin aroma. The entry to the palate is soft with a rich solid palate that is typically McLaren Vale, with blackcurrant and stewed plum flavours. The structure is typical of Fox Creek showing ripe fruit tannin with integrated oak complexity.
Chester Osborn, the remarkable person behind this enormous array of both impeccably high quality and value-priced wines, deserves considerable accolades for what he is able to achieve at all price ranges.
If you love Australian wines, d’Arenberg is a winery to seek out as these offerings all possess abundant soul as well as character. In short, the accolades that proprietor/winemaker Chester Osborn receives not only from The Wine Advocate, but virtually everybody in the wine world, are all well deserved.
Spice crusted barbecued butterflied leg of lamb, linguine pasta with mushrooms and caramelised onions.
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 spice, dark liquorice, cherry, blackberry, plum and dried black olive. The level of fruit weight masks the framework of oak tannins; however, the mineral fruit grittiness is balanced with a very long fruit-fragrant, persistent spice will yield a wine of great ageing power.
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.
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