Sort of following on from the Aussie Shiraz thread, I'd like to share my thoughts an a wine that does everything you would want a quality Aussie Shiraz to do, and more. Rich hedonistic fruit: check. Nice characterful depth: check. Excellent balance: check. Sparkling: che . . . . wait, what!?! Anyway, I have a confession: I like sparkling Shiraz. And oddly, if you want a wine that provides a solution to some of the excesses of Aussie Shiraz, you need look no further.
Shingleback, Black Bubbles, Sparkling Shiraz, McLaren Vale NV
Lush, rich blueberry and blackberry, upfront, with currants, floral notes, hints of chocolate, and the McLaren Vale's dark, stoney earth, all with prominent acidity and bubbles together providing excellent balance. If you want a quality, properly balanced Aussie Shiraz that still delivers some of the more hedonistic pleasures, and don't mind that it happens to be sparkling, this is your wine. 3.5 Stars [3/3/13]
Also, wanted to give a shout-out to a quality Chianti at an excellent price:
Banfi, Chianti Superiore 2011
Very good nose. Black raspberry, hints of plum tomato and citrus peel, violets, tobacco / roasted herbs, all with dark soil, and a nice hint of vanilla. For its $10 (or less) price tag, the polish and depth are remarkable. 2 Stars. [3/9/13]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)