D'Arenberg is one of my favourite wineries, and "The Laughing Magpie" is one of my favourite values. It is also a good wine for drinking on its own, so it was a perfect way to finish off the evening after the Whitehall Lane below.
Young, with a beautiful deep purple colour, the nose was aromatic and dessert-like. There were scents of blackberries, cherries, mint, leather, pepper, cloves, and vanilla, but the nose was dominated by the vanilla and fresh fruit. Spicy and nice.
On the palate it had a nice, soft, mouthfeel. It was medium- to full-bodied, and despite the fruity, dessert-like flavours it was poised, with good balance.
This wine may keep for a few years, and could improve, but it is good now. Nice on its own, or perhaps pepper steak or lamb. Note the heavy sludge - I suggest you stand it up for at least a day and decant before serving.
Note that Yalumba makes a Shiraz/Viognier for a few $$$ less, and it is also a terrific wine.