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Hello Sparkling, Hello Shiraz, Hello Sparkling Shiraz

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!!

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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 sunny day

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

peregrine ridge tip the bottle.jpgWhile 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

blue tip the bottle.pngThis 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

grant tip the bottle.pngThis 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 

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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

 

Frizzante

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.

Chrismont tip the bottle.jpg

‘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

 

Cheers!

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Shiraz, Shiraz, Shiraz – it’s the Heathcote Wine & Food Festival

So it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I guess you could say I was busily researching wine…

Now that we are in full spring mode, wine tasting events are popping up everywhere. One festival that I went to heathcote wine festival - wine barrellrecently was the Heathcote Wine & Food Festival, or as I call it ‘The Heathcote WINE Festival’.

Heathcote is a small rural town, nestled in central Victoria (90 minutes North of Melbourne). The wineries based in and around Heathcote proud themselves on magnificent reds. With hot-dry summers, cool-wet winters, and sitting on rich Cambrian soil, this wine region is a Shiraz’s paradise. If you’re ever hard pressed when it comes to choosing a red, one from the Heathcote region will certainly satisfy.

The festival is plonked on the grounds of the Heathcote Showground’s, with over 40 wineries on site. While no Bertie Beatle showbags were anywhere to be seen, there was certainly the opportunity to create my own little showbag of goodies to take home with me; which is exactly what I did.

heathcote wine festival sunny day

Not a cloud in the sky

Upon entry, I was handed a glass with the festival name etched on it for keeps. Woo-hoo! Gotta love a free wine glass.

Going against the words of advice from Beyonce ‘to the left-to the left’, I took a right and started off with tasting at Tellurian Wines – which had a mixture of reds, whites and a rose on offer. One particular variety up for tasting, that I had never tasted before, was called ‘Fiano’ – A light, slightly sweet Italian variety with lemon and pineapple notes. Perfect chilled on a warm summer’s day.

With the overwhelming amount of wineries, and only one day to taste (the festival goes over two days!), I had to be choosy where to tip my glass.

Glass tipping time!

Glass tipping time!

Tips on choosing where to tip your glass:

Fewer people at the tent, the better.

    • As deceiving as it looks, a tent with fewer people can look like the wine is no good. Don’t be taken by this, in fact this is where I found some of the best wine was located. Not only does it give you more time to taste and discover, but it also gives you a chance to have a proper chat to the wine sellers/owners. Here is where you can find out some little gems of information, such as the best year for wine in the Heathcote region – just between you and I it was 2010. You’re welcome.

While they say don’t judge a wine by its label, do it.

    • I chose places that had either interesting names, or labels attached to them – makes for an interesting wine tasting experience.

Tar and RosesTry something different

    • Try wines not stocked in mainstream stores like Dan Murphys. This is a chance to spread your taste buds. Enjoy it.
    • Taste different varieties. You never know what you might come across – just like my new found love of Fiano.
Something was really really funny

Something was obviously really really funny

Throughout the day I was making like Santa, and making a list and checking it twice. At the end of the day, I went back to the wineries I ranked ‘top tasting’, to make my purchases, and created my very own Bertie Beatle showbag.

My purchases for the day:

Downing Estate

2011 Shiraz

This winery was crowned ‘Best Red Wine of Show’!

Downing Estate

Tellurian

2014 Fiano

tellurian wines

Tar and Roses

2010 Nebbiolo

Tar and Roses Nebbiolo

Trust Wines

2011 Trust Shiraz

Trust Shiraz

Peregrine Ridge

2005 Winemakers Reserve Sparkling Shiraz

Peregrine Shiraz

While the next Heathcote Wine Festival may be another 12 months away, do yourself a favour and go treat yourself to a drop of that Heathcote goodness. Better still, go pour yourself a glass of Fiano. You wont regret it.

Leaving the grounds with my showbags

Leaving the grounds with my showbags

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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