top 5 sparkling reds
Personal sommelier Luke Campbell might just have the best job in the world. He helps wine enthusiasts create and manage home cellars, making sure they drink (or sell) their stash at the right time.
As the silly season spins into full swing, many of his clients are looking for a great example of Australia’s own sparkling red wines. “These distinctive wines can be fun, refreshing and a great food match with big birds and plum puddings, so think about matching them to your roast turkey, slow-roasted pork belly or even your Christmas pud,” Luke says. “Being respectful of this Australian tradition, remember for best results don’t serve sparkling reds too cold.”
Here are Luke’s top 5…
This is a full-bodied beauty. It’s characteristically Victorian, with spice and plush flavours of plums and chocolate. Aromas of black pepper and red fruits sing through. The added complexity is due to the base wine being left to develop on lees for 12 months and the extra lick of sweetness comes from a dosage of very old Best’s Liqueur Muscat. Savour and enjoy. Cellar 5-7 years.
Released every two years, this wine is a unique, richer styled sparkling, aged in hogsheads (aka Large format oak vats) and made from a selection of museum wines. A combination of cabernet, merlot and shiraz, this wine has become and Aussie icon. Look out for flavours of sugar and spice, black olive, tobacco and leather. This wine is seductive and juicy. Cellar 3-5 years.
A sparkling wine chock full of flavour. It is a blend of shiraz, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, it’s creamy in the mouth with some pronounced sweetness and aromatics of red and dark berries. It is really dark and opulent, all about blackberries, chocolate and anise flavours. With a very generous palate it is easily one of the more approachable sparkling reds. The soft tannins and creamy fruit combine to over deliver from this family estate. Drink now.
A vintage wine built to cellar. Traditionally released at 10 years of age (or at the winemakers discretion), this release is bold and complex, with floral and earthy aromas all rolled into one. A medium bodied wine with Morello cherry, blackcurrant flavours, all laden over leather and spice. Great acids and a long finish. Cellar 10 years.
From the Barossa Valley legends, this is a stand-alone handmade bottle of vinous history. A wine you can consume or keep. It is concentrated, complex and for the serious shiraz lover. Think about black forest cake in a glass, as it is all about spice, dark fruits and truffles. This wine has great tannin, balance and complexity, highlighted by the extraordinary creamy mousse and long finish. One for the ages. Cellar 10 years.