Sunday, 10 May 2009

Laughing Magpies

d'Arenberg - The Laughing Magpie - Shiraz Viognier - 2007

Allegedly this wine was the McLarenVale’s first ever Nothern Rhone blend combining 90% Shiraz and its white partner, 10% Viognier. The 2006 vintage started and ended early in the McLaren Vale with a dry winter, heavy rains in spring and a mild, early summer leading into a warmer period during veraison halting vegetative growth. 2006 grew vines with healthy, balanced canopies on most soils and later allowed vines to channel energy into the fruit. The Shiraz and Viognier bunches were crushed and co fermented together followed by an ageing process of 12 months in French and US oak.

This wine was decanted for around 4 hours and followed a bottle of d'Arenberg Last Ditch Viognier tasted last week. It had a very dark appearance with nicely gradiated edges and a complex, interesting nose of raspberry's, blueberry's and spice. The taste was smooth but full bodied with notes of pepper, cedar box, tobacco, chocolate and dark fruit. The finish was medium but showed a nice ripe firm tannin structure and again a peppery play. The 14.5% alcohol is very well hidden by the structure of this wine and at around £12 to £13 is very enjoyable for a dinner occasion or on its own. 90+/100

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