The Chook Shiraz Viognier
Staff Pick

The Chook Shiraz Viognier - 2019

Item # 19312 750mL
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Grape Variety
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Tasting Notes

McLaren Vale has an unrivaled reputation in Australia, and indeed the world, for growing full-flavored Shiraz. This wine is made using a method perfected in France's Côte-Rôtie: the winemaker adds a little Viognier to the fermenting Shiraz, which results in a deep and stunning expression.

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Staff Pick Notes

I like to pretend I don't play favorites, but if I honestly examine my wine purchase history I'm sure it would be chock full of northern Rhône Syrahs. Sadly, I can't always afford northern Rhône prices. So I was delighted to see "Black Chook" was making their Shiraz in a style reminiscent of the region by adding 5% Viognier to create a more vibrant and aromatic Shiraz. This flamboyant fowl struts it stuff right out of the gate and finishes strong. The nose is a platter of black cherries, candied plums, and blueberries, followed by a rich palate of blackberry jam, rhubarb pie, and licorice for dessert. If you have no patience for the subtle and coy, and want a wine that will beat its chest and kick up some dirt, try the "Black Chook."

- SD

Pairing Advice

Using an ancient technique developed on the "roasted slope" of the Côte-Rôtie, the winemaker has added a bit of Viognier (6%) to lighten up this Shiraz. The resulting wine is great with anything off the barbie: burgers, ribs, steaks, etc. Because Shiraz has a flavor profile that can tend toward sweetness, this wine even works with sweet glazes and barbecue sauces.

Astor's Glossary of Terms


We'd like to clear this up once and for all: the Shiraz grape is genetically identical to Syrah. Australian winemakers put "Shiraz" on the map (and, many would argue, vice versa), and the term is now used throughout much of the New World. Let it never be said, however, that Shiraz and Syrah are the same thing: the region in which the grape is grown determines much about the flavor of the wine it...

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Some of the most intriguing wines associated with the white Viognier grape contain hardly any Viognier at all: in the Côte Rôtie appellation, wine must be made principally from the red Syrah grape, but up to 20 percent (often far less) can be of white Viognier. The practice of adding Viognier to Syrah began as a way of taming the very ripe, tannic reds of the hot Côte Rôtie ("roasted slope"), but...

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Australian Shiraz (made from the grape called “Syrah” in other parts of the world) shows the essence of the outback: it’s big, bold, and a little rough around the edges. The vast country leaves lots of room for variation, however, with its many terroirs each yielding distinctively styled wines. The climate of South Australia’s McLaren Vale district is heavily influenced by the ocean; wines here...

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McLaren Vale

While the Barossa is the heart of the Australian wine industry and home to many of the big players, one has only to spend an hour traveling to the South Australia's McLaren Vale to find the home of some of the smaller players on the scene. With a microclimate heavily influenced by its proximity to the ocean and varied soils rich in iron or limestone, McLaren Vale Shiraz tends to exhibit more...

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South Australia

South Australia is home to nearly half the country's wine production as well as the center of premium Shiraz production. It contains the Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Padthaway, and Coonawarra regions.

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