Stored in perfect conditions since release. Not decanted! Ruby with orange rim. Intense cigar box and mint at first, then adding toffee. On the palate black currant, black cherries, cigar (havanna I guess), cedar, chamomile, herbs. I wonder if this would be recognized in a top bordeaux blind tasting of full mature vintages. Very long finish. Great! Hard to tell how one give it less than excellent ratings.
One of the best older Dead Arms that I have had. After a glacial development where it has tasted very young for the past decade, it has finally started to show age and maturity. Dark fruit and spice with clear eucalyptus, amaretto cherries and blackberries.
Very pleasant, enjoyable red drunk first week Dec 2014. Feared it might have faded out but has stood the test of time and still drinking well at 17 years.
Lovely floral & berry nose, boysenberry fruit, nicely integrated oak and tannins, very soft, mellow old red.
But lacked complexity. No wide spectrum of flavours or layers. Each sip the same. A very simple wine for around a price tag of $70, can get the same for $30. So have to mark it down a wee bit on that basis.
Maybe better drunk when younger and the primary fruit as this wine's strength is still at the forefront.
Zachy's Wine Auction - Winter 2014 (Smith & Wollensky (48th & 3rd Ave)): Here again a wine which suffered a bit from the company it was in. It was a lot fruitier than the Grange, a bit clearer tasting, but died much more quickly on the ending and just didn't have the same layers. Good wine, but tough to compete (although given price differential, sometimes this would be the right one).
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(d'Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm) Group's #7 (my #5) – 49 pts.; 1, 0, 3, 4 – medium dark red violet color with pale meniscus; soy sauce, redolent plum and sweet berry nose; tasty, berry, boysenberry palate with sweet tannins; medium-plus finish 92+ pts.
(D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz (McLaren Vale)) And so to the famed Dead Arm. A very dark wine, and on the nose aromas of hot, dry, baked blueberries. It is rather port-like in character I think, and again I find rather meaty, feral characteristics, together with a spirity side. Rich, creamy, viscous even on the palate, laden with coffee flavour, a characteristic which has marked all three of these wines. But also it seems a little hot to me, and disjointed, with rather brutal acidity, culminating in a really bitter, acid-dominated finish. The midpalate shows some nice cinnamon touches, but there is a hollowness to it. Still a lot of tannin floating about, but I can't be convinced that this wine is going anywhere. However successful it was in its youth (and I certainly wrote about all three of these wines in a positive fashion), it seems a mess right now. Is it just my palate, or has age really done these three no favours?
(D'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz (McLaren Vale)) Another deeply coloured wine, with a wonderfully expressive nose. Macerated berry fruit, chocolate, black pepper and cinnamon spice aromas on the nose. The palate is loaded with fruit, with more spice and pepper. There are ripe, structural tannins, with correct, balanced acidity. Despite a rich, mouthfilling texture, this wine even has a touch of elegance, and holds my interest well. Great length. Keep for three to five years before trying again.
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