The first Shiraz Viognier Blend released from McLaren Vale.
For over a century the red Rhône varietals of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre had thrived in McLaren Vale, so in 1995, Chester Osborn decided to plant their white counterparts, among the first in the region to do so. Chester planted 10 acres of Marsanne, nine acres of Roussanne and 14 acres of Viognier. This led to the first Shiraz Viognier blend to be released from McLaren Vale in 2000, The Laughing Magpie.
The story behind the name.
The Kookaburra is a native Australian bird famous for its distinctive laughing call, Chester’s young daughters named them ‘Laughing Magpies’. The Magpie 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.
Accolades and awards.
The 2012 current vintage of The Laughing Magpie has already received much acclaim. Awarded an impressive 95 points by James Halliday, he said, “Matured in 50/50% French and American oak (8% new) for 20 months. It’s odd how the co-fermentation of viognier can appear to intensify the regional signature, it’s certainly written large here, but there’s a spark of fresh fruit with a different pitch to its note. All this adds up to an impressive example of this key wine in the d’Arenberg menagerie.” The Laughing Magpie continues to rack up the gold medals, six so far:
DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL | China Wine & Spirits Awards – Best Value | 2017
GOLD MEDAL | Mundus Vini Summer Tasting | 2017
GOLD MEDAL | Mundus Vini International Wine Award | 2016
GOLD MEDAL | China Wine & Spirits Awards – Best Value | 2016
GOLD MEDAL | Korea Wine Challenge | 2016
GOLD MEDAL | Mundus Vini International Wine Award | 2015