Price:  £39.50 | Case Rate: £39.50
Ex Tax: £32.92

D'Arenberg - The Dead Arm Shiraz 2015


  • Country: Australia
  • Wine Region: South Australia
  • Wine Area: McLaren Vale
  • Wine Maker: Chester d’Arenberg Osborn
  • Grape: Shiraz/Syrah
  • Grape Percentage: 100%
  • Alcohol Percentage: 14%
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: Drink Now - 2025
Food Matching

Food Matching

This big, bold and beautiful wine can take on a whole range of gusty ingredients and flavours, though it is equally happy at a barbecue. Michel Roux Jr, in his book Matching Food and Wine: Classic and Not So Classic Combinations, suggests the following dishes, which gives an idea of what it can take on: duck confit and saut̩ potatoes; grilled marinated beef in Cantonese barbecue style; oxtail broth with pearl barley; pork shoulder stew with potatoes and chorizo sausage. Avoid overly subtle ingredients and preparations, cream sauces and anything too salty or spicy.

Duty/Vat Paid
WA: 96+ (2015) VS: 93 (2013) JR: 17.5 (2014) WS: 89 (2015) JS: 94 (2015) WE: 91 (2014) JH: 95 (2013) WF: 93+ (2015)

Wine tasting notes

A classic Dead Arm in every sense of the word. The nose is brooding and alluring, earthy notes combined with dark fruits, fennel and baking spice. The longer this wine sits in the glass, the further it unfurls opening into notes of sweeter berry fruit laced with more of those soily, forest floor notes.The palate is dense and concentrated with a plethora of fruit characters, plum, blackberry, mulberry, earth, iodine and black olive. Despite the richness and intensity of the attack and mid palate the experience surprisingly crescendos with a lick of spicy pepper, coupled with lovely, fined grained, textural tannins that seem to persist in the mouth forever. Complex, savoury and moreish!

Winery Information


One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine.. read more

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2015)96+ pts

Black cherries and black olives mark the nose of the 2015 The Dead Arm Shiraz, d'Arenberg's flagship bottling. It's a blend of older and younger vines from different sites, depending on what the fruit has to offer. Full-bodied, concentrated and firmly structured, it's nevertheless velvety on the long finish, picking up hints of licorice and tarragon. It should be approachable sooner than The Coppermine Road Cabernet, but it still deserves a couple of years in the cellar.

Vinous/Antonio Galloni (2013)93 pts

Inky ruby. Heady, smoke-accented blueberry, cassis, violet and vanilla aromas show excellent clarity and a hint of allspice. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering concentrated black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors plus a building suggestion of mocha. Closes with emphatic spicy cut, an echo of candied flowers and smooth, harmonious tannins that sneak in late. (2014)17.5 pts

Leathery and medicinal – a real savoury style with heft and chew. Reflects old Australia: beefy, heavy, bold and flavoursome but also aromatic and lush. (RH)

Wine Spectator (2015)89 pts

Appealing for the chewy tannins and rustic take on ripe wild berry flavors. Black tea and fresh herb notes linger on the finish. Drink now through 2030.

James Suckling (2015)94 pts

The 2015 Dead Arm is a great and formidable wine. It is packed with deeply concentrated dark-plum and blackberry aromas and flavors. There is a streak of red, spicy, smoky and meaty complexity, as well as a genius fusion of power and elegance.

Wine Enthusiast (2014)91 pts

In typical d'Arenberg style, this top-tier red is deeply hued and in need of many years in the cellar. Currently, it's emanating aromas of Black Forest cake, dried mint, licorice, warm pavement and tangy cranberry. The palate is plush and chocolatey, with sinewy tannins and balanced acidity. Drink 2021–2033.

James Halliday (2013)95 pts

Crushed and destemmed, cultured yeast, open-fermented with heading down boards, one-third fermented in barrel, followed by up to 18 months in French oak. Inky purple-crimson hue; standard d'Arenberg vinification finishing the last third of the primary fermentation and mlf in barrel; a powerful, archetypal d'Arenberg shiraz, swimming with black fruits of every description, dark chocolate and a generous helping of chewy tannins.

Wine Front (2015)93+ pts

It has the might, it has the power, it’s never had the pleasure of nuance but then the style and indeed target market isn’t going to miss it. This is a red wine of brute, brooding power. It’s a horse-hearted wine, blackberry and saltbush, clove and gunnmetal flavours coursing through its veins. It tastes sweet, stewed and exaggerated but it feels neat, balanced and intentional. The back half of the wine is all tight sheets of tannin, studded with saltbush and related iodine. Oak? Cedary, but sunk deep into the wine. It’s as hard a wine to fault as it is to love; it lacks charm but is both immaculate and concentrated.

Vinification Notes

Small batches are crushed in the Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber toothed crusher and then transferred to five-tonne headed-down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. When tannin extraction is just right the wine is basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete primary and secondary fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees to keep the wine fresh while also reducing the oak influence. There is no racking until final blending. Chester and the winemaking team undertake an extensive barrel tasting process to determine the final blend. The Dead Arm Shiraz does not undertake fining or filtration prior to bottling. Matured for 22 months in new and aged French and American oak barriques.