BANROCK STATION SPARKLING SHIRAZ, South Eastern Australia, 14.0% D, #971507 $13.95 (Tasted October 16, 2005)
Vintages released this October 15, 2005 saying: "Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz proves that fizzy shiraz is not just a novelty. Serve it ice cold: the blast of blackberry fruit knocks your socks off. Boatloads of flavour, and it's refreshing. Clearly, the Aussies are onto something. (Panel, 2005 Vancouver Magazine International Wine Competition, www.vanmag.com, Jan./Feb. 2005)" The label says: "Rich in colour with an intense bouquet of ripe berry aromas. ... and a spectrum of fruit flavours and character, combined with a soft texture and clean finish. Aperitif or serve with poultry and with grilled meats." My notes: Opening the bottle carries the aromas of the winery during fermentation, fruity... almost see the fruit flies. Colour is ruby red and the nose is of plums and black cherries. Flavours the same but with a noticeable accent of red lees and initial sweetness. Fine mousseux bubbles last through a deep froth with a long and strong berry finish. A summer sipper (with crushed ice perhaps?) or as a change with turkey, ham, pork or lamb roast. A drink-now bubbly.
SEAVIEW SHIRAZ SPARKLING, Victoria, Australia, 13.5% D, #644054 $12.95 (Tasted October 18, 2005)
The LCBO says: "Deep purple violet with definite mousse; vibrant aromas and flavours of ripe plum mullberry, raspberry, leather and vanilla; full-bodied, silky smooth and rich on the palate with refreshing carbonation and acidity. Serve slightly chilled with roast lamb, sausages, or roast turkey." A General release. My notes: A good froth of medium sized bubbles, a ruby colour and fragrant berry nose. Not as full, fragrant or fruity as the Banrock Sparkling Shiraz but as light as the Seaview white bubbly. Flavours of light berry fruit, fizzy on the palate with some tartness. Supposed to be a '3' sugar code but doesn't carry through to that level. Moderate finish with a pleasant tart berry that lingers. Have with grilled chicken or turkey, Italian sausage perhaps or just sip on a summer day. A drink-now sparkle.