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1998 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2004-2005)
- ABV 14%
- Closure: Cork
This is not a wine for the faint hearted, or for people with weak gums. A monumental wine with a tannic grip that is so firm that the wine needs at least 3-4 years cellaring before it is even remotely approachable. Matured in new and one year old French and American oak. The colour is totally opaque with intense purple crimson hues. The nose is a little restrained but will no doubt continue to evolve over time. Aromas of plum, spice, vanilla and cedar with an earthy end note. Monumental palate, mouthfilling with strong flavours of inky blackpepper, plum and spice (with a touch of iodine) over liquorice back palate flavours. Just as soon as the fruit flavours explode, a tidal wave of tannins overtakes everything and gives you a very generous 'smack in the mouth'. The tannic grip is firm and very dry and lasts long into the aftertaste. This is a wine that will always remain tannic, but on the other hand it will probably live a couple of decades. Cellar 4-5 years as a minimum, and then enjoy as long as your stocks last. Extremely limited stocks are available.
Retasted: July 2002
A big blockbuster of a wine. Totally opaque colour with purple crimson hue. Aroma of liquorice allsorts, spice, blackpepper and vanilla with just a hint of marzipan. The palate is tight, full bodied, and yet to evolve. Flavours of vanilla, plum and liquorice. Firmish but balanced tannins. Long aftertaste of vanilla, plum and spice.
Cellar 4-5 years (2006-2007)
Alc/Vol: 14.0% approx
One of the most backward wines included in the June tasting, this 1998 needs another 4-5 years to reach full maturity. Everything is here, including a dense ruby/purple color, and subtle but impressive notes of damp earth, roasted meats, herbs, spice box, pepper, and black fruits. Tannic, full-bodied, and youthful, it is capable of lasting another 25-30 years.
Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate June 2009