dArenberg The Laughing Magpie, McLaren Vale, 2007
Established 1912. Foot trod. Basket pressed. Shiraz Viognier. Shiraz (90%); Viognier (10%). Since 1912, the Osborns have tended the 19th century vineyards at their d'Arenberg winery, located in McLaren Vale, South Australia. The bushland that surrounds the family's vineyard is home to the unique native Australian bird, the Kookaburra, famous for its distinctive laughing call. Much to the amusement of the family, Alicia and Ruby, the daughters of fourth generation winemaker, Chester, called their two wild pet Kookaburras', the Laughing Magpies. The Magpie, a black and white bird, bears no resemblance to its famous cousin, but to this day, the likeable Kookaburra is known at the winery as the Laughing Magpie. The Osborns thought the name a good choice for McLaren Vale's first ever Shiraz Viognier blend, combining the black Shiraz variety and its white partner, Viognier. Although several of d'Arenberg's Shiraz vineyards date back to the early 1900's, it was not until 1995 that the family planted McLaren Vale's first Viognier vines. Very concentrated ripe bunches of Shiraz and Viognier were gently crushed by the Demoisy open-mouthed, rubber-toothed crusher, then fermented together in traditional, headed-down open fermenters where the traditional foot-treading in wader-clad feet takes place. The still fermenting juice was then gently basket-pressed using out 19th century Coq and Bromley & Tregoning presses, followed by 12 months maturation in American and French oak barriques. Natural minimum processing ensures maximum flavour, which may result in a harmless depost in and adhering to the bottle. This wine will benefit from further bottle age and decanting. 14.5% alc/vol. Viticulture, vinification & bottling by d'Arenberg Pty. Ltd. Osborn Road, McLaren Vale SA 5171 Aust. Product of Australia.