Sunday, October 31, 2010


- Clare Valley, SA
- $40-$47
- Cork
- 13.0%alc

An air of mystery surrounds the front label of this sparkling shiraz, which mentions neither maker nor its region of origin. There is however, a hint on the back label as to where the wine might originate; 'Made from the grapes of dry grown, low yielding vines averaging 70 years of age with nearly half planted in 1893.' Followers of Stephen George should be familiar with the site in question.

A strong whiff of licorice casts its presence throughout this freshly scented 2002 Sparkling Shiraz, with deeper notes of currants, black plums and shoe polish lifted by a resonant fragrance of heady, smoky oak imparted from its 4 years of maturation in old oak. Fans of sparkling reds will love its palate, which is dark and menacing, long and rich, with a wonderful combination of slowly maturing shiraz flavours graced by a slight, dry herbal thread from the cool vintage. Its liqueur dosage makes a cola-like announcement as the wine penetrates, but it's completely counter-attacked by a powerful, dry tannic influence and a tickly effervescence, which combine to command its long finish of saturated flavour.

ü+ Given the excellent vintage conditions, Stephen George has produced the finest sparkling red I've had from his stable. At 8 years of age, it's only just starting to reveal its considerable potential. Drink to 2018.
94 points


  1. Not usually a fan of this style, but your rating may make me take a look.


  2. Totally worth a look Tim, even if you're not a fan of the style. Keep in mind that I found this drunk better with more air and deeper consumption, i.e. last glass better than the first, which is usually a good thing in my opinion. :)

    Chris P

  3. p.s. great one for the cellar too. I've got 3 more tucked away myself.

  4. Drinking a bottle now and it seems only more impressive. The tasting note has been lightly updated and the score has gone from 93 to 94 - delicious!