An exploration of wine

310. d’Arenberg, Shiraz The Dead Arm McLaren Vale, 2004

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Book 2 Wine 310

£24; 14.5%

After a few years of vaguely looking out for this, to see if its reputation was justified, like buses, two turned up at once. Picked this up in Oddbins in the morning, then happened to go into Planet of the Grapes near the office and found that they had the 2003 (under cork, whereas this was screwcapped). Also used this to Christen my new Riedel Sommelier glasses. From an aroma point of view, what a way to do so! However, on reflection, I think this is the most disappointing wine drunk over Christmas (and New Year). Black-cherry core with a narrow rim – dense but youthful. Some banana and vanilla notes around a core aroma of pain d’epices, and deep (but jammy) fruit – black cherry or maybe crème de cassis. Develops some ‘baked meringue’ complexity. Highly concentrated (and alcoholic) dark fruit flavours. Moderate tannin at best, with moderate acidity. 14.5% ABV is reflected in a hot finish which summed up the flaw in the wine – overblown. Like the Henschke Keyneton Euphonium, not a drinkers wine – even with strong food.

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