NV St Hallett “the Black” sparkling Shiraz 13%
Barossa Valley, South Australia. RRP $50
Making a sparkling red style is laborious, time-consuming, and not cheap. Start with a decent red wine, and nurse it through a secondary fermentation. A final tweak adds some sweetening material (often brandy, or fortified wine) – essential to balance the red wine tannin.
The slight sweetness should be entirely masked by the bubbles, acidity and fruit weight. The base wine can be made from virtually any variety or blend, but Shiraz is typical.
St Hallett has plentiful experience making this style, and this wine displays plum, red liquorice, blackberry, dark cherry, spices and Christmas cake flavours. It has very fine bubbles, and graceful, persistent flavours – it brings joy to the table.
Few retailers have stocks – you have a quest! I also recommend Ashton Hills ($60), Primo Estate ($100) and the Seppelt Show ($100). If your budget does not reach that far, or are new to the style, try the standard Seppelt “original” ($25), Morris $25), or Bests ($35). There are many more I have not sampled, (and some that have not thrilled).
Conclusion – Sparkling reds are perfect for festivities, and make a startling match with turkey, duck, roast pork or ham. Be patriotic and indulge with Aussie wines; chill and serve in a normal red wine glass – happy days!
Delinquente Pretty Boy Rose 2021. Riverland
abv 12.6, rrp $26
This is the Rose of the summer!
Made with the ever growing in popularity variety Nero D’Avola and sourced from Riverland, this fresh and zesty, ripe yet dry little number has it all.
With minimal intervention, biodynamic and organic practices, unfined and unfiltered (making it vegan friendly); it’s the purity of fruit on display with nothing to hide.
Expect ripe red strawberries and cranberries, a zesty citrus kick and aromas of musk and rose water.
At $26, this is a steal and a must for any picnic or bbq in the sun.