2002 d'Arenberg "The Laughing Magpie" Shiraz-Viognier, McLaren Vale

SKU #1004206 94 points James Halliday

 Oozing licorice, spice, blackberry and chocolate; very ripe and rich; tannins not overdone.  (10/2003)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet-brick colored, the 2002 The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier gives notes of prunes and dried mulberry over tobacco, sandalwood, spice box and pencil lead. Open, expressive and drinking beautifully right now, the palate is very spicy with pleasant chocolate and savory flavors textured by firm velvety tannins. It finishes long with just enough freshness. (LPB)  (2/2012)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 No tasting note given.  (2/2004)

91 points Wine Spectator

 A lithe, lively red with a lovely subtle streak of apricot and spice running through the blackberry, blueberry and peppery spice flavors, beautifully balanced right through the harmonious finish.  (12/2003)

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Price: $34.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/27/2015 | Send Email
One of the newest offerings from the d'Arenberg team, this wine was named after the Magpie, a large, verbal, black and white Australian native, in order to highlight the blend of black (Shiraz) and white (Viognier) varieties combined to make this Down Under, Côte-Rôtie-styled wine. Just like in the vineyards of Côte Rôtie, d'Arenberg grows Viognier alongside the Shiraz and picks and vinifies the two together to create a highly perfumed red wine. The result is a wine with a decidedly floral nose combined with ripe, spicy Shiraz characteristics and a vivid, dark purple color. It manages to be both big and elegant. Think blueberry pie in a glass!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

McLaren Vale