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I have had the 2008 Dead Arm from Mclaren Vale before and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This bottle has been sitting longer in the cellar and comes with very lofty ratings from the pros.  I decided it was just what I needed with the Sunday Roast.  It was a perfect pairing.  I found myself wondering about this wine and how best to describe it.  My thoughts are this- it is pubescent.  Not young and primal anymore, yet not fully blossomed into that full blown creature it has the potential for.  It is at a crossroads in its evolution.  Stick with me…

A hazy purple in the glass with a nose of mature plum, star anise and cocoa.
Super smooth entry with blueberry, damson and oak. Levels of flavor lead to a somewhat complex wine that is primarily fruit driven right now but I could see evolution into secondary flavors. Still quite tannic with opposing acidity make this a young and balanced wine that will age gracefully. 92 points, 2014-2025 and for $50 make this a 4 star wine worthy of cellaring.  Here’s the kick:  RP gave it 95 points with a drinking window of 2018-2036 while on the other side of the fence WS gave it 91 points with a drinking window of 2009-2016.  Very opposing views of aging capacity and technical merits.  Five years after their initial write-ups and I am in the middle of both parties as to the ratings and aging potential.  Perhaps provenance and cellar conditions will be the greatest influence from here on in.  Either way, bang for the buck you can’t go wrong with this polished Shiraz from down under.  Salut….

d'arenberg dead arm shiraz