d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier Museum Release 2014  £24.01

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750ml Red Wine
RRP £27.95
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d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier Museum Release​

A small portion of this wine was been held back at the winery for an extended period in order to be released later and closer to maturity, so you can see where these wines can go with some patience.

Since 1912 the Osborn family have grown grapes and made wine in the picturesque surrounds of McLaren Vale. Today fourth-generation family member Chester Osborn is at the winemaking helm, making distinctive wines using traditional methods in the winery and the vineyard.

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.

The season began well with average winter rainfall, Summer conditions were significantly warmer than average with two heatwaves through January testing the limits of the vines. Following the heatwave was rain and cool weather, which helped slow down ripening and allowed flavour development to catch up to sugar ripeness. White wines from this vintage are fruity and very flavoursome, as are reds with ample tannin to match.

Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to open fermenters, where the Viognier and Shiraz are co-fermented. Foot treading is undertaken two-thirds of the way through fermentation, the wine is basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of old French and American oak to complete fermentation and mature. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.

Nice round, plump style of Shiraz. Loads of plum and blackberry on the nose, with the small Viognier component adding exotic notes of spiced apricots. There are lots of ripe plum flavours, alongside graphite and dried herbs. It's a luscious, soft wine, finishing with restrained tannin and moderate acidity.


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