d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2017

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2017

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2017

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Winemaking and Drinking

The Dead Arm Legend

The Dead Arm Shiraz draws its name from a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa lata. This disease kills one side of the vine, causing it to resemble a dead arm. However, the surviving side compensates by producing intensely concentrated fruit, leading to wines of remarkable depth and complexity. The 2017 vintage of The Dead Arm Shiraz showcases the essence of this struggle and triumph in nature.

Tasting Notes

The 2017 Dead Arm Shiraz is a testament to the unique terroir of McLaren Vale. Upon pouring, the wine exhibits a deep, dark crimson hue with an almost opaque core. The nose is an olfactory journey, offering an array of aromas that evolve with time in the glass. Initial scents of dark berries, plum, and black cherry are complemented by notes of dried herbs, earth, and a hint of eucalyptus. Further inspection reveals nuances of mocha, licorice, and spice, underscored by a subtle smokiness.

On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and powerful yet remarkably balanced. Rich flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and dark chocolate dominate, intertwined with complex layers of savory black olive, pepper, and a touch of vanilla from oak aging. The tannins are firm and structured, providing a robust backbone that supports the wine’s rich fruit profile. A bright acidity ensures a long, vibrant finish, leaving lingering notes of spice and mineral undertones.

Awards and Accolades

The 2017 vintage of The Dead Arm Shiraz has garnered significant acclaim in the wine community. It received high praise for its depth, complexity, and aging potential. Notable awards and scores include:

  • James Halliday’s Wine Companion: 96 points
  • Wine Spectator: 94 points
  • Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 93 points
  • International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC): Gold Medal

These accolades reflect the consistent quality and craftsmanship that d'Arenberg brings to its wines, cementing The Dead Arm Shiraz as a standout in the global wine market.

The Vineyard

The vineyards of d'Arenberg are situated in the heart of McLaren Vale, a region renowned for its diverse soil types and Mediterranean climate, ideal for growing premium Shiraz grapes. The estate practices sustainable viticulture, emphasizing minimal intervention and respect for the natural environment. The Dead Arm vines, some over 100 years old, are dry-grown and low-yielding, contributing to the concentrated flavors found in the wine.

Chester Osborn, the fourth-generation winemaker, has been instrumental in maintaining the traditional winemaking methods established by his ancestors. Fermentation occurs in small batches, with foot-treading and basket pressing techniques used to extract the desired flavors and tannins. The wine is then aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels, enhancing its complexity and structure.


The 2017 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz stands as a remarkable example of what dedication to traditional methods and respect for the land can produce. It embodies the resilience of the vineyard and the skill of the winemaker, offering a wine that is both a pleasure to drink now and one that will evolve beautifully with age. Its rich history, coupled with its modern accolades, ensures that The Dead Arm Shiraz will continue to be a flagship for d'Arenberg and a treasure for wine enthusiasts around the world.

Wine TypeRed wine
StateSouth Australia
RegionMcLaren Vale
Volume750 mL