d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2003
Upon release d'Arenberg's The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier has a vivid dark purple colour. The Viognier adds fragrance and the perfume of flowers, nectarines, ginger and herbs, serving to enhance the very ripe spectrum of the Shiraz, namely blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry. These same characters are also evident on the palate and prevail with a smooth glycerol impact, following through to the mid palate with fruity tannin. The structure has an accent on fine structure and a gritty long fruit tannin. After time in bottle the d'Arenberg's Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier's flavours should intensify as with other wines from the d'Arenberg stable. The restrained tannin and acidity will produce a seamless velvety rolling length with age.
Dense and dark in color, with lots of intense flavor but still in proportion, offering blackberry, black cherry and a distinctive twang of floral peach from the Viognier, finishing with licorice and pepper that lasts and lasts against vibrant acidity and fine tannins. Drink now through 2010.Score: 91. —Harvey Steiman, November 30, 2004.
Not quite as successful as the brilliant 2001 and 2002, but still outstanding, the 2003 The Laughing Magpie Shiraz/Viognier (94% of the former and 6% of the latter) is not as powerful or rich as its two older siblings. Nevertheless, it is an impressive red offering an exotic nose of lychee nuts, honeysuckle, apricot marmalade, blackberries, and cassis. Expressive, full-bodied, and soft, but more superficial than usual, it is a flamboyant effort to drink over the next 5-7 years.Score: 90. —Robert Parker, October 2004.
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