The Dead Arm Shiraz 2014

Excellent wine from d’Arenberg winery, McLaren Vale, South Australia. McLaren Vale has a climate resembling the Mediterranean, suited to growing a wide variety of vines. Shiraz is the best known varietal from McLaren Vale, thought there are other popular ones also cultivated.

When someone gifted me this wine, I was curious to learn about the origin of its name. Who would call a wine as “the dead arm”? Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by a fungus, and the part of the vine which is affected becomes dead wood. However, the other part produces vines of intense complexity, and the “The Dead Arm” Shiraz from d’Arenberg is the product of such vines.

Please read up about this unique wine at “The Dead Arm”.

The website of the vineyard is at The D’Arenberg Winery.

This wine has a deep purplish colour, dominated by dark fruits with strong intensity driving up the flavours. Highly rated by various reputed reviewers, The Dead Arm remains as the flagship Shiraz wine from the d’Arenberg winery which was established in 1912. I enjoyed this wine, very much influenced by its complexity and richness on the palate. The concentrated tannins in this wine provide a spicy and long finish, lingering for quite a while.

I have tried a number of Shiraz wines from Australia – I will not deny the fact that Australian Shiraz is world-class with some unbeatable vineyards. However, after a fairly long time, I am witnessing the resurgence of Shiraz in my household as the preference has always been for Cabernet Sauvignon, or Malbec, or Pinot Noir. This is good news, now I have a chance to explore some Shiraz wines when I go wine-shopping!

If you are looking for a full-bodied, intense, fruity Shiraz, you cannot go wrong with The Dead Arm. It is somewhat expensive and not easily available in Singapore, but can be ordered online in other countries. I would suggest that you bring out this bottle after a few years of cellaring, say after 3 to 5 years, and you will see that you have a winner in your hands to please your guests.

Wine is like golf, it requires a lot of understanding and time investment. There is never an end to the array of good wines from around the world. Of course, most of the time we choose the wine that we are already familiar with – which means that we intimately know the wine that we are predisposed to choose. So, it is necessary to keep the memory strong. I use the Vivino App on my iPhone which keeps track of the wines I have enjoyed in the past. It is almost like my wine database!

It is not true that I drink a glass of wine every day. Of late, I paced it out so that I drink a glass of wine twice every week, which means I look forward to it, and when it happens to be some new wine that I took a chance upon, it becomes even more inviting.

Be a responsible drinker, and do not drive under the influence of alcohol. I leave my car at home in case I am joining a party or get-together. It is much more convenient when you do not have to drive, as then the evening is “open” for some investigation and experimentation!

Today is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for all Christian friends it is a very important day – have a great Easter Sunday folks.


Vijay Srinivasan

01 April 2018


Author: Vijay Srinivasan

VJ lives and works in Singapore. He hails originally from Southern part of India, and has lived in Malaysia/Singapore for over 21 years. He loves networking, reading, travelling, amateurish golfing, badminton, and arguing on intellectual issues which affect mankind with his friends and colleagues. He also loves his wines and blogging !

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