Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ The Chook Shiraz Viognier, 2008, South Australia - GOOD VALUE

Find prices and retail availability for The Chook Shiraz Viognier .

By way of background: The Chook Shiraz Viognier blend, 2008, is a combination of 94% shiraz (red wine) and 6% viognier (white wine), both from South Australia vineyards. Made by winemaker Ben Riggs, and produced by Woop Woop Wines, this is a sister wine to The Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz, which I reviewed recently. This shiraz blend was aged 12 months in French oak, and finished at 14.5% alcohol.

Original review, December, 2009:

In the glass: The Chook Shiraz Viognier shows as deep purple red, opaque starting only about a quarter inch in from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, it shows a ripe black fruity charcoal-infused nose.

On the palate: Consistent with the nose, black fruit touches the mid-palate first, fairly slick. Plum flavors move to the edges of your mouth, darkened with oak, lodging there awhile with some brighter acids.

And the finish: The finish is bright and dark at the same time, acids and charcoal competing with some remnants of black stone fruit.

In summary: A somewhat "edgy" experience overall, with its highs and lows and more modest, although nicely mineral, middle. Three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. Not quite the value I was hoping for here.

Josh Raynolds of International Wine Cellar was a bit more of a fan, awarding 90 points, and writing, "Glass-staining ruby. Ripe aromas of black raspberry, licorice and a touch of vanilla. Generous and open, with a spicy quality to the sweet flavors of raspberry, cherry and candied violet. This delivers a lot of mid-palate sweetness and very good finishing clarity and spiciness."

Find The Chook Shiraz Viognier at WineZap.

Now with three days in partial bottle under vac-u-vin...

On the nose: Similar aromatic notes, milder though.

On the palate: Slick middle again, and the plums move to the sides of your mouth again, BUT... the charcoal oak has become a much more appealing cocoa chocolate, nicely mingling with the fruit and the light acids.

And the finish: Now balanced and even, chocolate settling in.

In summary: The three day vac-u-vin served The Chook Shiraz Viognier very well. Adding a plus to the three stars. Definitely recommending a decant or aging for another year or two.

Updated review, a year and a half later, July, 2011:   Color is consistent.  Nose still shows charcoal, but tempered with black chocolate and tea. The palate is sleek, full and bright.  Showing very ripe black raspberry and some cocoa.  Darker fruit at the edges of your mouth, up into your cheeks.  Holding up fine, and mellowing slightly. Good value.

Find prices and retail availability for The Chook Shiraz Viognier .

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