Woop Woop The Black Chook ‘Free Range’ Grenache Shiraz Viognier 2008 (South Australia)
$18, Screwcap, 15.0%
Made to sell. Made to make tons of everyday drinkers very happy with their purchase. Made to appeal to just about anyone who likes red wine to be rich soft & juicy. Arguably it’s a critter wine, but its a very smart one, with standout packaging & a reasonably clever back label. Arguably its also quite ‘Australian’ in style and flavour, packed with juicy black & purple fruits on a squeaky clean palate that overfloweth with abundant ripe grape flavours.
But behind all this marketing driven edifice, this really isn’t a bad wine. It’s genuinely not to my tastes, with its pruney ripeness, obvious V-weed peachiness on the nose and warm tail, but I can’t begrudge the clever winemaking, which has presented a wine with broad appeal at an entirely suitable price.
The secret, I believe, to this blends simple attractiveness, lies in the dominant 95% of the blend – Grenache & Shiraz. In this instance, the Grenache provides candied perfume and fruit, the Shiraz the structure and meaty mid palate. The Viognier then serves to top this off with an extra edge of fruit juice, that just makes the whole package prettier, softer and juicier.
Combined together by a well experienced winemaker (Ben Riggs) and deftly handled in the winery, and we have this final result: An unarguably simple, ripe and alcoholic red blend that charms by its cleverness. It’s definitely not my idea of a high quality wine (as reflected in the score), but I still can appreciate how well this has been thought out, and similarly how tailored this is to both its target (not me) market and its pricepoint.