For reasons unknown to me BVE's recent E+E wines haven't compared well with those which forged their once supreme reputation. Apart from enforcing the benefits of bottle age for premium sparkling reds, the delicious 1998 E+E Sparkling Shiraz reminds us why this label was once considered a Barossa benchmark.
Holding a flat brick red hue, its appearance foretells a complex bouquet loaded with the clever combination of maturity, freshness and masculine charm which sparkling red enthusiasts so desperately seek. Woody, cigar-boxy, dusted earth and chargrilled capsicum aromas enthrall the nose, leading into a richly flavoured, smooth palate of delightful integration and vitality. It's very sophisticated and dry, pushing forward savoury nuances of cigarbox, cedar, currant and tobacco, which culminate with traces of herbal undergrowth and bitter cocoa.
ü+ A truly mature, complex, dry and savoury sparkling shiraz, which forces me to envision a grandfather reclining in an ornate armchair next to an open fire, smoking a pipe and sipping Cognac whilst reading extracts of Bradman's 1948 Invincibles' Ashes tour as a bedtime story. It's moments like these Australians treasure. Drink now.