d’Arenberg Unveils the Secrets of the Dead Arm Shiraz, with the Release of the Amazing Sites Range
Sense of Place: A strong connection and understanding of the soils and geologies of McLaren Vale built over four generations.
In 2012 the Osborn family celebrated 100 years of land ownership and grape growing in McLaren Vale, South Australia. With each successive generation tending the land, knowledge, passion and pride of place have been passed down, hand in hand. In the centenary year, fourth generation viticulturist and winemaker, Chester Osborn, showcased this understanding with the release of 17 wines comprising the ‘Amazing Sites’ project.
The wines, comprising 3 single site Grenaches and 14 single site Shirazes, follow d’Arenberg’s characterful naming conventions: The Amaranthine Shiraz, The Bamboo Scrub Shiraz, The Beautiful View Grenache, The Blewitt Springs Grenache, The Blind Tiger Shiraz, The Eight Iron Shiraz, The Feathered Horse Shiraz, The Fruit Bat Shiraz, The Garden of Extraordinary Delights Shiraz, JRO Afflatus Shiraz, The Little Venice Shiraz, McLaren Sand Hills Grenache, The Other Side Shiraz, Shipsters’ Rapture Shiraz, The Swinging Malaysian Shiraz, Tyche’s Mustard Shiraz and The Vociferate Dipsomaniac Shiraz.
Site specific wines.
Every vineyard is unique. The soil, underlying geology, altitude, vineyard aspect, proximity to the ocean, age of the vines and the techniques used by the grape-grower influence flavors and the resultant expression of terroir. An intimate understanding of McLaren Vale’s many soil types, the underlying geology and their influence on various grape varieties is one of Chester Osborn’s most defining attributes as a winemaker. As a fourth generation vigneron, Chester has a wealth of knowledge to draw from, but it’s his dedication to minimal intervention in the vineyard, (no fertilization, no herbicide sprays, no soil cultivation, no or minimal irrigation) and his insistence on small batch winemaking, that has allowed him to gain a rare insight into each individual site.
Gentle winemaking to highlight site selection.
In the winery each parcel of fruit is kept separate and treated in the same way to let the site and vine age speak; whole berry, submerged cap fermentation, no plunging or pumping and foot treading all occur in the original family winery. The wine is then pressed to 225L oak with no racking, fining or filtering. Each parcel spends 20 months in oak of the same age and/or character.
The components of The Dead Arm.
The process of keeping site specific parcels of fruit separate through the winemaking process is not a new practice at d’Arenberg. This approach has been integral in the building of the quality and reputation of d’Arenberg’s iconic wine, The Dead Arm Shiraz. For decades Chester has kept parcels of fruit separate through the winemaking steps in order to assess them and blend his ultimate McLaren Vale shiraz.
The ‘Amazing Sites’ project is a chance for others to experience the blending process and assess how each individual site contributes to the structure, flavor profile and aging potential of The Dead Arm. Each ‘Amazing Sites’ wine represents around eight barrels of one specific site, with the remainder contributing to the blend of The Dead Arm Shiraz, Chester’s pride of each vintage.
The Dead Arm has always been a blend of many fascinating parcels of fruit from vineyard sites around the Vale owned by d’Arenberg and grown by our neighbors to our specifications. For years I’ve had the pleasure of tasting them as individual wines and coming up with a blend that best represents the d’Arenberg style and vintage
conditions. We proudly label this wine as The Dead Arm Shiraz. As the vines have matured and the profile of our winery has grown, more fruit has become available at Dead Arm quality so I can now share a small part of the blend with everyone via this ‘Amazing Sites’ project.
Label design: The art of being different.
This new range of wines celebrates the importance of place and the art of winemaking. Chester Osborn was inspired to create labels that endorse his belief that winemaking is like art, requiring an intimate knowledge of the raw materials to create great results. He took photographs of his favorite aspect of each vineyard/region and these were converted digitally into stylized, block-colored landscapes. The color palette was chosen to represent the key characteristics of the sub-regions; the bold, rich colors of Beautiful View, the cool elements of Blewitt Springs and pale sandy influences of McLaren Sand Hills.
Following the theme of great wine requiring a deep understanding of the vineyards and skill in the winery, each label design also features Chester, depicted as a wild pixie, exploring the area. Like a mischievous spirit, Chester loves playing amongst the vines, selecting the barrels and bringing their strengths to life in wine. The poses of the various pixies reflect the colorful and quirky names behind each of the wines.
Available in the US in limited quantities, the Amazing Sites wines will retail for $85, and are available through Old Bridge Cellars’ national distribution network.
For more information, please contact:
Brand Manager, d’Arenberg
M: +61 409 106 475 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
PR Manager, OBC Wines
T: +1 707 258 9552 | E: email@example.com