Oddbins were the ones who brought this fun producer to the UK. I was lucky enough to work for them and each year they put on their own wine fair in London just for us- the staff. They would fly the best winemakers from all over the world and get all the shops to send their staff to meet them. That’s when I first got to meet Chester along with his famous dad d’Arry who were warm and ever so friendly. I even remember Chesters bright Hawaiian shirt, which could stop traffic. Myself and our shop staff brought a bottle of the Dead Arm Shiraz every vintage with our Oddbins Christmas voucher. I made it to 7 consecutive vintages.
The Dead Arm – Shiraz 2017 McLaren Vale, Shiraz (100%) won the best wine of the year scoring 97 points at the 2020 London Wine Competition.
This wine will have you second-guessing as it skips between red fruits and lifted spice notes on the one hand to more brooding, dark, ashen, earthy aromas on the other. A sign of the vintage no doubt. The seasonal conditions are even more evident on the palate where flavour, tannin and acid are in perfect balance. There is an impressive amount of concentration in this wine but at the same time, it feels somewhat more restrained compared to other more in your face, rustic Dead Arm vintages. Particularly when we look at the tannin profile which is a relatively fine example for this wine.
94/100 Wine and Spirits Magazine.
91/100 Wine Spectator.
91/100 Wine Enthusiast.
The relatively cool hand of the 2017 vintage has added touches of freshness and elegance to many classically rich, powerful wines like this one. Postcard McLaren Vale notes of plums, blackberries, peppery, earthy spices and a little well-placed oak lead the way. The distinction is in the palate, where muscular, highly textural, rustic tannins are balanced by bright, juicy fruit. Not for fans of cushy, soft-around-the-middle Shiraz, but tannin-craving red lovers will find much enjoyment. Christina Pickard