The vineyards and bushland that surround the d'Arenberg winery are home to a unique native
Australian bird, the Kookaburra, famous for its distinctive laughing call. Winemaker Chester Osborn's
daughters named their two wild pet Kookaburras the "Laughing Magpies." The Magpie plumage is
black with a stripe of white feathers and bears no resemblance to its famous cousin, but the name has
stuck as it is the perfect choice for McLaren Vale's first ever Shiraz (black)/ Viognier (white) blend.
The wine has a dark, saturated appearance with a violet-crimson hue. Maraschino cherries, spiced
fruit peel, ginger and apricot stones are apparent on the nose, with black tea, olive and tarry notes
appearing as the wine opens up. The palate is soft and generous, showing juicy flavors of blueberries,
ribena, cherries and dark chocolate. Tea-like tannins are abundant and combine with defined acidity
to provide structure and length. The long, refined finish reveals this wine's aging potential.
"Rich, velvety, luscious fruit flavours saying more about McLaren Vale than viognier; chocolate rather than apricot; however, no niggles about the wine."
"The 2006 The Laughing Magpie is composed of 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier. Deep crimson/violet in color, it offers up notes of cherry, ginger, black tea, tar, and blueberry. Medium to full-bodied, layered flavors of cherry, blueberry, and dark chocolate make an appearance accompanied by ripe tannin and excellent concentration leading to a long, refined finish. It will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring and drink well through 2020."
This wine is luscious with plum and dark berry flavor, well balanced with the spice we expect from Shiraz. The Viognier adds a depth of flavor unexpected in a wine of this price.
The second time I tried this wine I tried an experiment I rarely try: I left a half full bottle open all night and tried it again. Wow! Not only was it not oxidized, as I feared, it was much better integrated and much better overall. Since exposure to air is a way to simulate aging, I think this wine can age well and will probably be 4 stars in a couple of years - not bad for under $20! I'm glad I still have several more bottles.
I enjoy big reds and it is difficult to find one under $50. This wine is big and flavorful with berries and a slight taste of pepper. Perfect accompanyment for a steak. Great Value!