Thursday, May 26, 2005

Put Some Fizz In Your Life
Red Fizz, Sparkling Shiraz, Aussie Champers, da, da, dada, boom boom! No it ain’t Texas tea. I’m talking about something that will get your lips smacking, and you don’t have to kiss a Cold Duck to do it!

Red frothy wine has been around for a while in Australia but its not seen very much in the USA. Fortunately that seems to be changing, at least according to an article by W. Blake Gray in the San Francisco Chronicle. There are even some Californian Sparkling Shiraz wines, made by Australians of course.

We tasted a few of these wines on our trip to the Barossa last December. The best was probably the Barossa Valley Estates 1999 E&E Sparkling Shiraz. What a treat! Dense cherry red, almost purple it gave off mountains of blueberry/blackberry and pepper notes. A truly mouth-filling wine, that carried its fruit flavors through on retronasal. Very well balanced with a lengthy finish. The only drawback was that the bubbles just did not last in the glass. (2, 2, 4.3, 10.4=18.7/20, 14.5% alcohol). Almost as good was the Seppelts 1994 Show Sparkling Shiraz, which is 10 years old on release. It had developed characters of earth and barnyard and was soft and elegant in the mouth finishing with firm tannins. Surprisingly good! (2, 2, 4.4, 10.2=18.6/20).

1 comment:

jens at cincinnati wine said...

I have recently tasted (well, more than tasted, really indulged in) two Sparkling Shiraz's (is that right?). The first is the Fox Creek Vixen for $16 (a steal!) that tastes great, and the second is the Leconfield for $30. The Leconfield was a more complex wine with a better finish, but it's hard to beat the Vixen for the value. Everybody is amazed to drink a "red sparkler".