The Chook Shiraz-Viognier 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
Bright ruby. Highly perfumed nose offers an energetic bouquet of peppery dark berries, fresh violet and smoked meat. On the palate, this displays a real northern Rhone-like personality, with an array of dark berry and candied floral flavors. Picks up vanilla and cola on the seductively sweet and very persistent finish. Leaves tangy minerality behind, along with a lively note of cracked pepper.
The Wine Advocate - "Blended of 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier from McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek, this 2009 Shiraz Viognier was matured for 10 months in French and American oak, 30% new. Deep garnet purple in color, it has intense cherry and crushed blackberry aromas with an enticing fruity lift and just a touch of peachiness. A solid backbone of high acidity and medium-firm fine tannins support the fleshy, medium-full bodied palate, finishing long. Approachable now, it has some capacity for development and should cellar to 2016+."
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining purple. Sexy, Rhone-like aromas of blackcurrant, cherry, violet and tobacco, with a strong peppery quality that becomes more intense with air. Juicy, palate-staining dark berry flavors show impressive freshness, with tangy acidity providing lift. Finishes with very good cut and persistent spiciness. This wine was raised in French and American oak, one-third new."
The Chook Winery
As the bigger sibling of Woop Woop, the Black Chook once again represents a collaboration between Ben Riggs the wine maker at Penny's Hill, and Tony Parkinson, proprietor of Penny's Hill. The Black Chook is sourced from McLaren Vale, known for it's consistent, Mediterranean-type climate and Langhorne Creek which characteristically produces Shiraz that is spicy, flavorful and elegant. Co-fermenting small amounts of Viognier skins with Shiraz adds wonderful apricot perfumes, at the same time as intensifying the deep rich color and velvety mouth-feel of the wine… And what is Chook? It's Australian for Chicken! View all The Chook Wines
About Other Australia
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales- home to Sydney and other tourist destinations, New South Wales has a smaller focused wine growing region, but many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations and so are deemed New South Wales appellation.
Western Australia– a small corner of Australia winemaking occurs on the opposite coast of the others. The largest state, Western Australia includes the smaller appellation of Margaret River.
Southeastern Australia– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in the country.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.