d'Arenberg 'The Laughing Magpie' Shiraz/Viognier 2014, McLaren Vale, Australia

The vineyards and bushland that surround the d’Arenberg winery are home to the native Australian bird, the Kookaburra, famous for its distinctive laughing call. Much to the amusement of the family, Chester Osborn’s daughters, Alicia and Ruby, named two wild Kookaburras who regularly visited their house the ‘Laughing Magpies’. The Magpie plumage is black with a stripe of white feathers and bears no resemblance to its famous cousin, but to this day the name has stuck. The Osborn’s thought the name was a good choice for McLaren Vale’s first ever Shiraz Viognier blend combining the (black) Shiraz and its white partner, Viognier. 2014 vintage – Shiraz (94%), Viognier (6%). 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 flavors combine initially but over time some of the more savory 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.

$29.99