Australia has made a few significant contributions to the world of wine: the shiraz cabernet/cabernet shiraz blend, the stelvin screw cap and a new take on bubbly with the sparkling shiraz.
While most people tend to drink sparkling wines as an aperitif, the spicy aromas, fine beading and complex flavours of sparkling shiraz make it a perfect accompaniment with dinner.
Seppelt’s Great Western Winery in Victoria has been making sparkling shiraz almost continuously since the 1890s. The highly rated Seppelt Show Sparkling Shiraz is made from 60+ year old grapes from the St. Peter’s and Imperial vineyards, using the traditional methodé Champenoise. After a break in production, the 1982 Seppelt Show Sparkling Burgundy (as it was then known) was relaunched in 1990. Today, renowned wine critic James Halliday rates Seppelt’s as the best producer of Australian sparkling shiraz. (James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2011)
Peter Lehmann released its first sparkling shiraz in 1999. It was made from the 1994 vintage and spent five years cellaring in the bottle on tirage. Halliday awarded 94 points to the Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz 2005. Sourced from small Barossa Valley vineyards, including one owned by Peter and Margaret Lehmann, chief winemaker Andrew Wigan, who created the wine for Peter Lehmann, offered the following tasting notes:
Beautifully deep in colour with a persistent fine bead. The nose is an enticing melange of chocolate, dark cherry, hints of spice, a touch of vanilla. A beautifully integrated and fully harmonious wine offering an explosion of flavour balanced by the complexity resulting from its time in the bottle. (Seppelt website)
Wild Duck Creek makes the dry style, non vintage Sparkling Duck Sparkling Shiraz NV every three vintages. Only 1200 bottles of the wine are produced from a 50% blend of vintage shiraz and the current vintage.