2006 The Black Chook VMR McLaren Vale & Langhorne Creek

($18; 68% viognier and 16% each of marsanne and roussanne; raised completely in stainless steel) Pale gold. Intensely perfumed nose features powerful peach, pear and kiwi fruit aromas brightened by stony minerality and white flowers. Ripe orchard and tropical fruit flavors envelop the palate and extend through the long, juicy finish. A real fruit basket, with wonderful freshness and precision, not to mention persistence. This is flat-out delicious, and a great choice to serve alongside lighter Asian dishes.

90

2006 The Black Chook Shiraz/Viognier South Australia

($18; a 95/5 blend) Dark violet. Intensely floral nose offers pungent blackberry and cassis aromas underscored by exotic magnolia and baking spices. Sweet dark berry flavors are energized by Asian spice and mineral notes that linger impressively on the juicy finish. Lots of complexity for the money here.

90

NV The Black Chook Shiraz Sparkling McLaren Vale & Langhorne Creek

($16) Dark purple. Powerful raspberry and blackberry on the nose, with a subtle floral accent. Sweet red and dark berry flavors are braced by zesty minerality and flesh out with air. Juicy, nicely focused cassis and blueberry on the finish, which is unusually energetic for this genre. (Epicurean Wines, Seattle, WA)

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