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The Chook Shiraz-Viognier 2009

Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • RP89
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's 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+.
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The Chook

The Chook

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The Chook, Australia
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!

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

AIWCHOOKSHVI_2009 Item# 108152