Dead Head, Drop Dead, Dead as a Door Nail, Dead Arm, Dead Wood, Dead Ringer, Dead Duck, Dead Reckoning, Wanted Dead or Alive, and the all too famous Dead Man Walking.
Any guesses out there which one of these phrases has anything to do with wine? While I am looking for one specific answer, as I sit here I realize that since I don’t know EVERY wine name out there, that there could be more than one answer.
But in this case, the answer (and wine) is:
d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2015
There is a place in my heart for this wine as I was first introduced to this, what the winery and I both call, Iconic wine back in the late 1990’s. A wine of power and substance that had me at my first sip. Coincidentally, I was fortunate to come upon the 2015 Vintage at a recent event. It had been a while since I had come upon this Drop Dead (like how I slipped another Dead phrase in here?) gorgeous wine, but it was the right time to reacquaint myself.
As I remembered from long ago, the wine seemed to know what I had tasted many a year ago and was eager to bring that same excitement and those exquisite nuances back to my palate. This wine was to bring forth concentrated flavors of blueberry and dark layers of other fruit combined with a slightly rustic edge to help give it that power. Tannins kept in check to allow a certain subtlety to the wine but allowing for the wine to age gracefully for many years to come. 100% Shiraz from the McLaren Vale in Australia with 18 months of oak maturation is sufficient to produce this wonderful wine. For more technical information, click here.
Like an old friend, this time around I decided to catch up even further, looking into the genesis of the name of the wine, something I hadn’t done previously (or at least in my accelerated years may have forgotten). Lengthy but spot one: “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.” So there you go!
Given it was an evening when I had decided to splurge for dinner and prepare a nice Beef Tenderloin; I knew this would fit right in and compliment the meal. Sides of Sautéed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli with a special sauce (no, not from the likes of that fast food joint), that gets its beginnings from a wonderful Raspberry Desert Wine, produced by Glunz here in Illinois, that I reduce along with a tad of this and a skosh of that. A little too much for a nice picture, but unbelievably delicious and I once heard that Charlie Trotter used it for the same purpose.
In case you’re a fan of scores like I am, it should be pointed out that Wine Advocate gave it a Drop Dead score of 96 Points. (I had to get in one last reference to Dead).