The Dead Arm Shiraz 2012 displays classic McLaren Vale aromas of plum, blackberry, liquorice and spice. There is also a strong sense of the old vines and infertile soils from which the grapes are sourced. This is evidenced through a raft of dark, earthy notes, evoking notions of a concentrated duck reduction and thick, black molasses. There is enough savoury oak character to support the generous fruit but it isn't the dominant feature, rather an intrinsic component of an ever changing bouquet of complex characters that ebb and flow with time in the glass.
The palate has an incredible depth of flavour and a solid structure built on a framework of firm tannins. The concept of soil transfer into the glass is furthered evidenced through flavours of beetroot and an almost woodiness. The power of the palate is somewhat tempered through its life and vibrancy, meaning we are met with a mouth-watering graphite-like impression rather than a sensation of boney dryness. The result is a wine of great presence and boldness but with a refined, stylish finish that lingers on and on.