Ashton Hills Sparkling Red 1998

91 points

Clare Valley, South Australia. 13%

This is wine from the Wendouree vineyard revitalised by secondary fermentation. Stephen George, Ashton Hills winemaker is consultant at the iconic Wendouree.

I’ve always thought this sparkling shiraz was very unusual, much drier and less exuberant than others. I was recently told at cellar door that it isn’t shiraz, but a Cab/shiraz/malbec blend (if I recall correctly). It tastes very much like a delightfully old-fashioned Aussie red from the days when 13% was a big red. Dry, slightly leathery. Savoury yet charming still.

A style that some drinkers today may sadly find quite under-stated, and difficult to understand.

Enjoy now.

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