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. d'Arenberg believes that this is a natural part of vineyard life. One half, or 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.
Vintage 2005 could be summarized as a vintage that ripened without interruptions. The resulting wines are tight with amazing red fruit fragrance and lovely acidity. Crops yields were above average although slightly under the 2004 vintage.
Only the best barrels of Shiraz are selected to be bottled as The Dead Arm. The 2005 Dead Arm displays intense cedar, fig, blackberry, blueberry, and pepper aromas. Perfectly structured with a long and rich framework, it will yield this wine great aging power. After time in the bottle, the Dead Arm gains a biscuity, cinnamon, caramel and eucalyptus based bouquet on top of rich blackberry pie smells. Tobacco, mushroom, malt, spice and earth flavors play a complementary part on the long, fleshy finish.
"D’Arenberg’s most famous wine is its flagship, The Dead Arm Shiraz. The 2005 The Dead Arm Shiraz is sourced from ancient head-pruned vines. It was aged for 22 months in a mix of new and used French and American oak. It is opaque purple/black with an expansive perfume of toast, smoke, spice box, mineral, pencil lead, tar, licorice, blueberry, and blackberry. Full-bodied, opulent, and super-concentrated, this structured, lengthy wine will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring and drink well through 2025."
The Wine Advocate
"Inky violet. Vibrant, perfumed nose melds blackberry, cassis, kirsch, licorice and dried flowers. On the palate, this shiraz shows an intriguing mix of sweet dark fruit flavors and firmer earth and mineral notes, with big but supple tannins contributing structure. The palate-staining finish features notes of bitter cherry, cured tobacco and high-octane chocolate. Nothing obvious here."
International Wine Cellar