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Planted in the Onkaparinga Valley in the Clarendon Hills area, this wine is always very peppery and spicy with nuances of Leather and minerals. A most individual wine - always very deeply coloured and with abundant tannin.
The 2004 Diana Madeline was produced using biodynamic techniques, which Cullens believe is crucial for optimising the quality of the fruit flavours and for investing the wine with a velvety structure and very high quality tannins.
It was made from a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The fruit was picked at Baumés ranging from 12.1-13.7, producing an average value of 13.5º. The wine was matured for 18 months in French oak, of which 54% was new.
The nose shows intense blackcurrant and cranberry fruit, and the subtle cedary cinnamon spice, barrel-ferment and oak derived aromas, violet and mint scents, as well as liquorice and chocolate smells. Interwined is this wounderful green edge that lifts the wine into a cool climate sepctrum which typifies the cold year.
These Aromas combine with some cassis, blueberry,and cranberry, with lingering mocha and plumy fruit and are just showing through amongst a long, intense vibrant, gritty fruit tannin finish.
The nose shows intense blackcurrant and cranberry fruit, and the subtle cedary cinnamon spice, barrel-ferment and oak derived aromas, violet and mint scents, as well as liquorice and chocolate smells. Interwined is this wounderful green edge that lifts the wine into a cool climate sepctrum which typifies the cold year. These aromas combine with some cassis, blueberry, and cranberry, with lingering mocha and plumy fruit and are just showing through amongst a long, intense vibrant, gritty fruit tannin finish.
A perfume of grilled steak intermixed with blackberries, new saddle leather, earth, pepper, and melted licorice rises from this awesome red. With great power, richness, and no hard edges, it is still young and primary, but should hit its peak in 3-7 years, and last for two decades or more.
The 2003 season was characterised by a very low winter rainfall which signalled the vine to minimize potential crop load. The ripening period was warm producing a crop load of small berries and very pure, ripe fruit characters. Even with a smaller than normal crop load many batches showed wonderful fruit characters due to an excellent skin to pulp ratios and this is evident in the final wine. This year in particular selected parcels of fruit deemed worthy of the Dead Arm label were down 50% in volume.
Upon release, ‘The Dead Arm’ Shiraz has a vivid, young, dense, purple-red colour. Very intense aromas with a complex combination of fragrant spices and violets, dark cherry, blackberry and blueberry, are made more complex with great liquorice, pepper and integrated svelte of boot-polish like characters. The taste is rich, gutsy and virile, with attacking spice, dark liquorice, cherry, blackberry, plum and dried black olive. The level of fruit weight masks the framework of oak tannins; however, the mineral fruit grittiness is balanced with a very long fruit-fragrant, persistent spice will yield a wine of great ageing power.
The 2009 Fancrest Estate Pinot Noir was listed by Rebecca Gibb MW as one of her top NZ reds of 2014. 92/100
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