The magpie is a black and white bird, and this wine is so named because it combines black (85% Shiraz) and white (15% Viognier). This blend is common in the Northern Rhone at Cote Rotie, but this Australian wine is a bird of a different color.
Even in the Rhone, of course, the darkness of Syrah is dominant, and that is particularly true for this Laughing Magpie. With a lot of work, I can swirl out some pretty floral scents, reminiscent of Viognier, underneath the black currant, blackberry Shiraz fruit. Also plenty of oak. On the tongue, the black fruits are particularly dominant, firm and bold. None of the citrus, black olive or grilled tomato notes that you might expect from a Cote Rotie. Powerful and still tannic. Even at 11 years of age, it could benefit from another year or two in the bottle.