Saturday, December 24, 2011

ROCKFORD BLACK SHIRAZ 2010 disgorgement

- Barossa Valley, SA
- $50-$120
- Cork
- 13.5%alc

Joseph or Black Shiraz? My mind shudders at the thought of picking a favourite sparkling red. I love the Joseph for its ability to deliver an elegantly styled, complex combination of maturity and freshness upon release practically every year (although my first bottle of the Langton's assisted 2011 disgorgement left me decidedly underwhelmed - fingers crossed for the second bottle), but at its very best, especially with a few years under its belt, I feel Rockford's ultra-rare beast reigns supreme.

Rockford's 2010 disgorgement is an essential sparkling shiraz, depicting true harmony of its schizophrenic nature. Finding the aromatic middle ground between sweet, fruity and savoury, as well as fresh and complex, it boasts an alluring depth of menthol tinged plums, blackberries and blueberries, risen by savoury whiffs of tobacco and smoky mocha/chocolate oak, while smelling so quintessentially Rockford all the way. Its palate bares the smooth balance and beautifully controlled, richly ripened fruit of a top-flight Barossa shiraz, as it oozes a wonderfully seamless and concentrated composition of savoury edged plum and dark berry flavours, which become more complex and appealling towards its fine, fleshy finish of cherry cola and sour-edged meaty notes. A dry, powdery backbone of ultra-fine tannins holds everything in place firmly, effectively ticking the last box for sparkling red perfection. I'd ideally give it another 3-5 years, if that's even possible...

ü+ Pure hedonistic joy. A signal to the world flaunting the showmanship of old-school Australian pride. My sparkling red pendulum has definitively swung full tilt back to the Barossa. The king is back baby! The king is back!!! Drink to 2017.
96 points


  1. Great review, Chris. I definitely need to grab some of the 2010 disgorgement!! We only just opened up one (of the three) 2009 we bought a few months back, purely for enjoyment and unaffected by review... I'm waiting another year (discipline!) before I review it. It was great, but from what I gather here it sounds like the 2010 is a notch above the 09.

  2. Had my last two of the '02 disgorgement with goose and duck on Christmas day... why don't I have more? Other wines afterwards were disappointing. Surely the best spurgle.

  3. really great stuff.....gud job done !!!!!

  4. Great note Chris. I love a good old sparkling Shiraz. This is just a cut above, you can taste the underlying quality and you just know that it's a fantastic base Shiraz in there. Good to read. I've still one '09 tucked away...and heard they still had '10s for sale by the three at cellar door as recently as last week.

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  6. Hey Chris, hope all is well? Just noted you haven't posted for a while...most unlike you!



  7. Come back Chris... come back! (with apologies to 'Shane').

  8. Hi Chris, wondering if we can be featured on your blog

  9. I like shiraz red wines. they are great. We take people to great winery tours around yarra valley.

  10. Chris,

    Sorry to see that you are no longer updating your wine blog. I just wanted to say thank you for your reviews and entertainment, and wish you well.

    All the best

  11. Also sorry to see this wine blog go quiet. Thanks for the work put into the site Chris, all the best for the future. Cheers, Matthew.

  12. Great blog chris. This wine is looking interesting i will try it...

  13. Your site is very nice.This site is stimulated my mind.
    A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
    Beauty is truth's smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Sounds like a great wine, and I also wanted to echo the comments of joshgtv and Stu re the fact your site isn't being updated any more - a real disappointment since it's such a great read that I just discovered.

    PS: Looks like you might have a bit of a spam problem on your site that you need to clean up, if you ever head back here!

  16. Black Shiraz, looks like tasty one. I will buy this one from online wine store Australia coming weekend. Hope your reviews will prove true.

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  18. I discovered your blog just as I was getting into wine seriously and learned a lot from your well written and informative posts. Thanks for sharing!