I shared this with colleagues over dinner on Monday evening, so my recollections of the moment are as much social as vinous. Still, this wine went down easily and accompanied our Indian meal rather well.
An extremely vigorous mousse, almost as aggressive as Diet Coke when poured into a fresh glass. As an aside, are there any more wonderful sights in wine than sparkling Shiraz as it fizzes and foams on pouring? There’s something gloriously vulgar about the purple mousse, profoundly unnatural yet appealing. It reminds me of Christmas, somehow. But back to the wine; a nose that seems even-tempered, recalling a still wine more than a sparkling one. It’s blackberried and plummed in equal measure, all sprinkled with dark spice.
The palate shows me why some of the best sparkling Shiraz wines come from the Grampians, home of the style and long renowned for its elegant, medium bodied Shiraz-based table wines. Sparkling red wines, especially at the low end, can tend towards too much sweetness, with a rough structure and obvious fruit. This, by contrast, showcases its moderate body and relatively subtle effervescence, creating an impression of elegance and style rather than skirt-raising good times. A nice, lively spritz on entry, followed by a middle palate that shows great balance between savoury spice and fruit sweetness, between spritz and linearity. It’s all quite restrained, really, almost quiet, which only serves to highlight the tasty, if simple, flavour profile. The whisper of a middle palate surges again through the after palate and finish.
I wouldn’t call it a great wine, but the elegance of its palate weight and structure really impresses, and turns what can be a neon style into something subtle and alluring.
Closure: Crown seal