The 2010 vintage was Awarded 86 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of Australian Value Shiraz (see blue link below).
D'Arenberg Laughing Magpie 2010 - June 2017 Decanter review
The Kookaburra is a native Australian bird famous for its distinctive laughing call, Chester's young daughters named them 'Laughing Magpies'. The Magpie's 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.
Harmony between environmental sustainability and wine industry practice is a strong commitment upheld by d’Arenberg in carrying out operations throughout the entire business, and the goal of d'Arenberg’s current custodians is to pass on a sustainable business to the next generation. Minimal input viticulture practices are in place, with all d’Arenberg estate and leased vineyards NASAA Certified for organic and biodynamic processes.
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.
The wine has an enticing mix of primary fruit characters entwined with the first hints of moreish secondary nuances. There is an enormous concentration of blackberry and blackcurrant on the nose and palate, a whiff of flowers, ginger and stone fruit that we can attribute to the Viognier and depth is built through more savoury notes of fennel, fresh leather and cedar.