Saturday, May 16, 2009

2007 D'Arenberg Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier

Since 1912 the D'Arenberg Winery, located in McLaren Vale, South Australia, has been producing extraordinary wines in all price levels. Reminiscent of a Cote Rotie style blend of 90% Shiraz and 10% Viognier, this wine is a gentle giant. Cote Rotie blends are interesting since a red and a white are being blended together, in fact the Viognier actually makes the color of the Shiraz dark and turns it into this real deep plum color. Very ripe concentrated bunches of Shiraz and Viognier are gently crushed and fermented together in traditional open fermenters where the foot-treading in water clad feet takes place. While the juice is still fermenting it is gently basket pressed using D'Arenberg's 19th century Coq and Bromley & Tregoning presses, then finished off with 12 months in American and French oak barrels. The name Laughing Magpie comes from unique native Australian bird, the Kookaburra, known for its distinctive laughing call. This wine definitely would benefit from aging somewhere along the lines of 10 years. Although if you decide to enjoy it sooner rather than later, I recommend letting it sit in a decanter for a few hours. The seductive aromas of jasmine, lilac, peach and maraschino cherries lead into a palate that is full, juicy, soft and mouth filling.

Rating: 9.2 out of 10

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