Wine Talk

Snooth User: fullbottle

Oz Sparkling Shiraz (and other odd varieties)

Posted by fullbottle, Nov 5, 2009.

In my recent "Introducing myself" (see Fullbottle) I inadvertently (well, not really) mentioned my love for the sparkling shiraz (fomerly sparkling burgundy but we are not allowed to call them that any more) that we in Australia can produce so well. Mainly made from shiraz, but with a few from merlot, malbec and chambercin, these wines go through the same fermentation processes as champagne and produce wines that when slightly chilled marry so well with Christmas turkeys and hams in our hot December months. The better examples of the style have sour cherry overtones on the palate and finish dry (cheaper ones have residual sugar and can be pretty ordinary), and can command $70-$80 per bottle here in Oz (eg Seppelt Show Reserve Sparkling Shiraz). I would be interested to hear of the experience of others on this wine style - I am not aware of who else makes it (though I have seen some Russian sparkling reds that would have challenged orange juice for the sugar content - not a good experience).


Reply by John Andrews, Nov 6, 2009.

Love sparkling shiraz ... I work part-time for an Aussie wine maker and at our winery dinner last year he brought out a 1992 Sparkling Shiraz. Thing was bloody awesome!

Reply by rar8888, Nov 6, 2009.

Fullbottle do you have any suggestions on a good value sparkling shiraz? I am not familiar with the style but don't want to spend $70-80 to try something I may or may not like.
Best Regards

Reply by fullbottle, Nov 8, 2009.

rar8888. I'm not sure what is available in the US, but if you can find some Rumball NV or Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz (sell in Oz for under $20), they would give you a good introduction to the style. Otherwise get back to me with a list of what you can find and I might be able to give you some guidance.

Reply by Cuttlefish, Nov 21, 2009.

It's hard to know what you guys have available in USA, but I suspect if you look around, someone must be distributing The Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz. Current release here in Sydney is 2005. It's a cellar stalwart for the style, and in most cellars here.
There are a number of other popular producers of this wine style; some more expensive.
In the main, it's a lesser known and appreciated wine style outside of wine appreciators, but at it's best, is a really lovely drink (served cold).
Other well known Aussie producers are:
Rumball (Sparkling Shiraz, and Sparkling Merlot)
Rockford (Black Shiraz)
Banrock Station
D'Arenberg (Peppermint Paddock)
Seppelt Silverband
Seppelt Show Reserve
Morris (sparkling durif)
Barossa Valley Estate E & E
Fox Creek Vixen
Peter Lehmann Black Queen
Primo Estate Joseph
There are a number of others producing sparkling red wines, but a smaller number who do it with the intent of making a great, tasty, ageworthy wine. In some instances, it's been accused of being made just to use up excess or sub-standard fruit, or just for the hell of having one at cellar door...
I think most of the producers I have listed above are making it for the right reasons.
The more premium ones listed above are the Rockford Black, the Seppelt Show Reserve,
E & E, Black Queen, Primo Estate's Joseph, and the Leasingham Classic.
The Seppelt Silverband, Anderson, and Majella would fill out the middle ground, and most of the others, I'd regard as more affordable, but not necessarily lesser quality.

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