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D’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2009, Australia

McLaren Vale
Red and white blend

This big red takes its stylistic cue from France's northern Rhône Valley, where it's customary to ferment red syrah (a.k.a. shiraz) with a small quantity of white viognier. But this is firmly planted in Australia, with lavish, cuddly fruit suggesting plum jam and blueberry, doused with espresso and lifted by pinches of herbs and – nodding at the Rhône style – cracked pepper. Excellent. $29.99 in B.C., $27.49 in Manitoba, $33.96 in Newfoundland.

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About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More


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