The Laughing Magpie from d’Arenberg has always been a consistent performer. A traditional blend of Shiraz, with a bit of Viognier adding softness and floral characters.
Alas, the 2011 d’Arenberg Laughing Magpie took me by surprise. On the nose there was a bit of forest floor up front, followed by meaty characters and dark plum. All-round it wasn’t an intense aroma as expected and probably lacking the floral component of previous years. Perhaps I was having a sensory bad day.
On the palate it was soft and drying, with good length. Dark cherries, ripe plum, a whiff of cracked black pepper, and clove/allspice. But overriding was a funky smoked meat quality which distracted. It reminded me of an acquaintance, Brett, who I haven’t seen for a few years. Shall we just say he had a personal aroma problem, but he also liked funk music, so we put up with him because he was interesting. [Obtuse cork-dork reference.]
On the second day the funk had dissipated. But overall it wasn’t the Laughing Magpie I knew so well.
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer