5 Stars Winestate magazine
Double Gold Medal
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.
This is one of the more pure fruited versions of this iconic wine that we have seen in recent times. Highly aromatic in the early stages of its life, the nose is dominated by an array of perfectly ripe berry fruits and spicy notes. The dark, earthy and savoury characters that we are well accustomed to, whilst present, seem to be taking a back seat. Nonetheless, they play an integral role in adding depth and complexity here. The palate is similarly positioned, showing almost restrained fruit weight but great depth of flavour and wonderful brightness. What hasn’t changed is that line of fine, lively tannins that present themselves early and drive the wine from start to finish, drawing fruit flavour along with them.
“It’s powerful, chewy, densely packed with dark fruits, warm spice, cedary licks and gritty tannins. It’s quite tight and firm in its present stage, but has the feel of pent up McLaren Vale shiraz that can go a distance. Perfume holds the invite in blackcurrant, choc-liqourice bullets, twigs-briar and fireplace wood scents, violets. Attractive as. Texture for now goes a dry mouth gummy, but I wager the wine relaxes in a year with mellow fruit softening things nicely. Good release here. Very good, indeed.” – 94 Points Mike Bennie
“The Dead Arm Shiraz is one of the most iconic wines of McLaren Vale, fermented in 5 tonne open fermenters with header boards that submerge the grape skins, ensuring tannin and colour extraction. The wine finishes fermentation in barrel, is aged on it’s own lees and bottled without fining or filtration. This is a wine that you should open and decant for at least a few hours if drinking in the next two to three years with air helping to unravel layers of complexity. On the nose there is a concentration of plum that gives way to star anise and cured meat, oak is there but very much secondary. Taut black fruits and redcurrant are the first impression on the palate, with bay leaf, coffee grinds and gentle oak spice that gain a touch of blue fruit on the mid palate before a web of drying tannin put it back in it’s place. The finish is all class, lightly spiced plum and dark cherry are wrapped in woodsmoke and earth. The length is significant.” – 96 Points Patrick Eckel