The richness and generosity of Australian shiraz has always made it a popular choice for our country's sparkling red producers. Over the years I've drunk sparkling reds made from grapes such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, sangiovese, tempranillo, durif and chambourcin, but the very best wines seem to always come from shiraz.
From word-go Knappstein's Sparkling Shiraz appears ripe, ready and fruity, as its bouquet sprays an attractive perfume of dried lavender and eucalyptus over aromas of mulberries, plums and berries, with creamy cedar oak playing its part. In a charmingly simple way, it's fresh, appealing and even somewhat regional. The medium-weight of the palate makes it very approachable, as does its freshly packed arrangement of rich red and black varietal fruit flavours, but depending on your stance it's either marred or elevated by an assured sweetness which takes on the guise of cherry brandy. Smart acidity frames the wine with trusty oak and a dry effervescence, while a lingering note of Black Forest cake completes the picture.
ü Right now Knappstein's Sparkling Shiraz displays the sweet, fresh, fruity characters of a sparkling red destined for broad appeal, but put it away for a year or two, and watch it settle into wine better set for the more discerning drinker. Drink to 2014 (just be aware it's non-vintage).