Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: June 27, 2019 (JS-93)
Super rich, sweet, earthy fruit with pomegranate and a hint of leather, too. The palate has strong, rich and assertive fruit. The depth is great. Drink or hold.
Source: 232, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 31st Aug 2017 (RP-92 )
The 2013 The Dead Arm Shiraz has a deep garnet color and a nose of chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and eucalypt with touches of mocha and bay leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate is rich and soft with a crazy backbone of lively acid cutting through the intense flavors and a nice, long mint-patty finish.
Drink Date 2017 – 2025
The Name: 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.
The Vintage: Great winter rains set the vines up well last year, followed by a very dry spring and summer with no heatwaves. The initial fruit development was fantastic, the first white grapes to be picked showed incredible levels of natural acidity coupled with good fruit ripeness unlike anything we’ve seen for a long time. Just prior to picking the first red grapes there was three days of reasonably high temperatures, which accelerated sugar ripening and meant the winery was filled in record time. A lot of the red grapes from that period are particularly rich with intense tannin and dark fruit characters – a great vintage for reds and whites alike.
The Winemaking: Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
The Characteristics: Decanting this wine is highly recommended to allow it to reach its true potential. Initially, our senses are flooded with an array of savoury, earthy notes. Shiitake mushrooms, roasted meats and modelling clay. Slowly as the air permeates through the wine, the savoury layers are peeled away revealing a wealth of sweet black fruits. The palate is similarly laden with blackberry, plum and mulberry flavours. The sweetness is offset by a raft of woody spices and umami character. Superbly rich and supported by by a core of slatey, crushed rock-like tannins, this is a wine that will reward patience.
Cellaring Potential: While enjoyable in youth, this wine will reach its full potential with bottle age up to at least 20 years. The considerable structure and depth will ensure that the fruit characters will develop over time revealing more complexity and providing immense interest. This wine is best stored in an environment free of direct sunlight and with consistent temperatures between 10?C and 15?C.
Residual sugar: 1.4 g/L
Titratable acid 7.3 pH 3.47
Oak maturation: 18 months
Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn
Senior Winemaker Jack Walton