d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2012
McLaren Vale, Shiraz (90%) Viognier (10%)
The Story Behind The Name
The Kookaburra is a native Australian bird famous for its distinctive laughing call, Chester’s young daughters named them “Laughing Magpies”. The Magpie plumage is black with a stripe of white feathers, representing McLaren Vale’s first ever blend combining the (black) Shiraz and its white partner, Viognier.
A dark, complex nose, highlighted with a twist of peppery spice and a subtle undertone of apricot and florals from the Viognier. The palate is similarly dominated by the dark and brooding Shiraz. Fennel, cured meat and beetroot like flavours combine initially but over time some of the more savoury and closed notes lift, revealing the fruit sweetness that lies beneath; plums, blackberry and dark cherry. The palate is rich and generous and the tannins have a certain silkiness to them.
An exotic, mysterious wine that, in youth, will benefit enormously from a liberal dose of air through decanting.
Wine EnthusiastThere's only 7% Viognier in this blend but it shows, lifting the aromas of green veg, orange rind and plum sauce with some welcome floral tones. It's got the d'Arenberg stamp of approachability: appealing tangy fruit and plenty of interesting secondary characters, but it's lacking the label's usual softness and, for the moment anyway, the oak is on the chunky side and the tannins a little chewy.
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