Since 1912, the Osborn family have tended their 19th century vineyards, located adjacent to their d’Arenberg winery, McLaren Vale, South Australia. The first of the now famous d’Arenberg red stripe labels was released in 1959. D’Arenberg is a rustic place and in the vineyards no irrigation is used. The wine is handcrafted using the very gentle, traditional basket presses and, in the case of their reds, small batch fermenters combined with the age-old technique of foot-treading. The hands-on and feet-on approach to winemaking ensures d’Arenberg wines are patiently and individually nurtured, giving them unforgettable personalities.
The Dead Arm Shiraz is one of the ‘flagship’ wines at d’Arenberg – the very best Shiraz from one of the oldest producers in arguably the best Shiraz producing region in Australia, McLaren Vale. It is a wine that has a very bold tannin structure as the fruit selected for this wine are from very old vineyards, the oldest now planted in 1912 which crops very low yields.
The name for this wine is often joked about. Some thought the wine to be so big and heavy that your arm hardly worked after consuming a reasonable amount. Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often vines affected 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 display amazing intensity.
Up until the mid 1990’s d’Arenberg Shiraz was branded as ‘Old Vine’. The onset of the red wine boom in this period saw many new labels appeared on the market branded as ‘Old Vine’. This was a great concern to both d’Arry and Chester as they didn’t feel it was appropriate or accurate so another name was sought.
Chester Osborn´s philosophy is to try to make the loudest most flowery fragrant, most fruit flavoured wine that has a great palate texture free of excess oak. It should have tannins that are long, lively, gritty and youthful with fragrant fruit-mineral notes. All this with an obvious but not overpowering expression of soil in the aroma through to the last taste.
Soil: glacial deposits, beach sand and limestone
Grape varieties: 100% Shiraz
Winemaking: The must receives no plunging or pumping over while fermentation occurs. Once the primary fermentation is nearly complete, traditional foot-treading takes place prior to basket-pressing. The wine is then transferred to barrel to complete its primary and secondary fermentation. After 20 months every barrel is individually assessed for quality. Only the best barrels are selected to be bottled as The Dead Arm Shiraz.
POBox 195 Osborn Rd
South Australia 5171
Tel. + 61 8 8329 4888
Fax + 61 8 8323 8423