If you love sparkling wine and you love Shiraz, I can guarantee that you will love Sparkling Shiraz.
It’s a Shiraz with bubbles, served chilled!
With its sparkly appearance and festive feeling, it’s the perfect Christmassy red wine to drink in the hot Australian summer.
Over the past couple of years the world of Sparkling Shiraz in Australia has taken off.
With many wineries having both a sparkling wine and a Shiraz in their portfolio, more and more wineries are now including a Sparkling Shiraz into their mix of wines. Genius!!
My first taste of the Sparkling Shiraz, was to be honest, not a great experience. I expected the Sparkling Shiraz to be true to the Shiraz style, but with bubbles. It was not like that at all. Instead, it was sweet like raspberries. So sweet in fact, that I may as well have been drinking a raspberry soft drink. Later on in my wine drinking years, it was at the Heathcote wine tasting festival that I decided to give the Sparkling Shiraz another go. I was so happy that I took the plunge.
Heathcote Wine Festival
The winery that really won me over was Peregrine Ridge. With 5 lots of Shiraz grapes being gown on their property, in perfect Shiraz growing conditions, this made for a winning Sparkling Shiraz – it was smooth, rounded, full bodied with medium tannins, topped off with bubbles that added that extra bit of pizzazz. Drinking it made me happy, and made me feel like there was a party in my mouth – yes, you were invited.
When searching for a great Sparkling Shiraz, I’d recommend going with a winery that nails the Shiraz. After all, it is the backbone of the wine. Be prepared to spend a little extra than you would for a Shiraz, as there’s work involved in popping in those little bubbles of goodness inside the bottle.
Here are a few suggestions from Tip The Bottle to help you get started:
Peregrine Ridge – ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ Sparkling Heathcote Shiraz
While the winery produces two Sparkling Shiraz’s, the ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ is the clear winner! This is the one that brought my Sparkling Shiraz days back to life. With the slightly higher price point than some Sparkling Shiraz’s, this one is well deserving of a place at the Christmas table.
‘Typically the bouquet displays blackberries, dark cherries, and raspberries with hints of yeast and spice, and the palate is of intense lifted dark cherries, blackberries and sweet spice. This wine style is perfectly balanced and has a soft, lingering after palate which makes it exceptional drinking early and equally well suited to medium term cellaring.’ www.peregrineridge.com.au
Blue Pyrenees – Sparkling Shiraz
This wine is a slightly sweeter than a classic Shiraz, however it still has all the classic elements of being dry on finish.
‘The flavours generally follow on from the aromas with sweet spiced dark plum fruit up front, a rich chocolate confection mid palate, and a lingering soft tannin, spicy dry finish.’ www.bluepyrenees.com.au
Grant Burge – Shiraz Cabernet NV
This wine follows a similar feel to a champagne with its creaminess. It’s a great Sparkling Shiraz that won’t disappoint.
‘Our inaugural release of Sparkling Shiraz Cabernet is deep ruby in colour, with a complex, earthy nose of smokey oak, bacon and spicy cedar along with rich fruit characters of liqueur cherries and blackberries. It is elegant and lively with the big flavours of the nose carrying through to the palate. It has a creamy mousse and elegant mouth feel finishing with a perfect balance of acidity and fruit sweetness.’ http://www.grantburgewines.com.au
Campbells Wines – Sparkling Shiraz NV
Everything you’d ever wish for in a Shiraz is delivered perfectly in Campbell’s Wines’ Sparkling Shiraz. A lot of depth and character to this one. With decades of experience in making cracking Shiraz’s, this one is a proven winner!
‘Deep red with crimson hues. Deep plum fruit, integrated spice, liquorice and mulberry with hints of bready yeast characters. Intense sweet plum fruit up front with a crisp bead. The palate is deep and complex with mulberry fruit and earthy savoury length, the addition of Vintage Port adds hints of liquorice and mocha. Subtle well integrated oak provides fine tannins and a long, dry, savoury finish.’ www.campbellswines.com.au
Aside from the Sparkling Shiraz, there are also lightly Sparkling wines which you can get in red wine form known as ‘Frizzante’. These are wines are also served chilled, and have a slightly lower alcohol content than a Sparkling wine would typically have.
My pick of the bunch is the Frizzante from Chrismont Winery.
Chrismont – La Zona – Marzemino Frizzante 2013
Serve this one up to guests, and you will be bound to get a surprised look on people’s faces when they discover is has a little fizz to it. Think of it like a chocolate bar with popping candy in it.
‘vibrant aromatics of violets, plums, red currants and spices with an effervesent palate and delicious soft tannin.’ www.chrismont.com.au
If you have any Sparkling Shiraz’s that you’ve tasted and loved, I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time wino’s