d'Arenberg Dead Arm (Various Vintages)

The Dead Arm gets its name in a fairly inauspicious way – it is named after the disease (Eutypa Lata) which afflicts some of the oldest vines at d’Arenberg from which we get the majority of fruit destined for The Dead Arm. The disease, Eutypa Lata, or ‘Dead Arm’ is common all around the world in old vineyard sites. The disease in effect slowly reduces one of the ‘arms’ of the vines to dead wood, which then means the other arm of the vine produces small volumes of the most incredibly concentrated and highly flavoured grapes. This makes ideal material to go into this, our top Shiraz. The grapes are processed as are all of d’Arenberg reds, using the gentle Demoisy rubber toothed, open-mouthed crusher, and fermented in wax-lined, headed down open fermenters which are foot trod (and being ever hygiene-conscious here at d’Arenberg, the feet are clad in waders!) and temperature controlled. The still fermenting grapes are pressed off in baskets through the old ‘Coq’ and ‘Bromley & Tregoning’ presses into mainly new American and French oak barriques for 22 months or thereabouts, before blending and bottling at d’Arenberg. The Dead Arm is a spectacular example of McLaren Vale Shiraz – concentrated, multi-dimensional with huge fruit, length and texture, immense balance and ageing potential.