d’arenberg Dead Arm McLaren Vale Shiraz 2011
Wines from hard vintages, when viewed in isolation, are often much better than expected. We can forgive an extra bit of leafiness and the odd palate hole. A little subtlety can also be quite welcome or warm region wines. But when you particularly challenging vintages alongside the very best, then differences become very stark.
I happened to have this shortly after the ’10, a context that really showed the challenges of the vintage (and d’Arenberg did alright in 2011).
Dark red maroon with lighter edges. Black earth, red berries and game; the nose rather more secondary than juicy, the bitter and thickly tannic palate showing its high acid and forward nature. A wine that looks much older than 4 years old and a pretty awkward drink. Vintage marking this one with a big x.
Details: 14.3%, Screwcap, $65
Tasted: May 2015 (sample)
Best drinking: 2015-2022
Score: 16/20, 87/100
Would I buy it? No.
Buy online: d’Arenberg website
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