About Sparkling Wines from Australia

About Sparkling Wines from Australia
Wine is a bit of a quandry when one speaks of Australia. Here is a country that ranks sixth in the world as far as total production, yet it so too often associated these days with inexpensive, mass-produced wines. This is understandable, given that a few huge corporations produce a great majority of the country's wine, with much of its destined for supermarkets in the USA and England. But this reputation is a true shame, as there are so many excellent wine regions that are home to some magnificent producers. Shiraz is the country's signature wine; not only is it Australia's most widely planted variety, it is also the wine with the greatest reputation. Especially in the Barossa and Clare Valleys, there are explosive versions of this wine that can age for many years. Other notable reds from Australia are the Rhone blends with varying percentages of Grenache and Mourvedre added to Shiraz. Certain areas such as Western Australia are ideal for cool climate varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Probably the best white wines are Semillon from Hunter Valley and especially Riesling from the Clare and Eden Valleys. These Rieslings, thought quite different from those produced in Germany, are equally brilliant and are most assuredly world-class

Top Picks for Australia

Sparkling Wines

Sidewood 2014 Isabella Sparkling Rosé Adelaide Hills
93 points
$25
Steely amber color. Inviting aromas and flavors of brioche, ripe cantaloupe, cranberry relish, strawberry preserves, nutmeg, and honey butter with a silky, lively, effervescent, dryish full body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-long finish manifesting shades of toasted almonds in nougat and hint of menthol-mint with a suggestion of oak flavor. A terrific Australian sparkler with a svelte body, sophisticated aromas, and acidity that doesn’t quit; drink now or cellar.
Sidewood 2014 Isabella Sparkling Rosé Adelaide Hills
92 points
$25
Pale golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of dried apricot, pressed flowers, nut-studded toffee, and strawberry jam with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, distinctive, medium-long finish with notes of shortbread and marmalade. A serious sparkler with elegant fruit and sophisticated bubbles.
Sidewood NV Sparkling Pinot Noir-Chardonnay
91 points
$18
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of heirloom apple, pineapple, green apple, chalk, white flowers, and beeswax with a silky, vibrant, finely carbonated, dryish light body and a polished, intriguing, medium-long finish displaying accents of salted butter and Parker dinner rolls. A mineral-driven, crisp and clean sparkler for celebratory toasting.
91 points $18 Best Buy
Sidewood 2015 Chloe Cuvée Sparkling Adelaide Hills
90 points
$25
Pale golden straw color. Aromas of toasted crumpet, butter-poached apples, roasted peach, hint of green olive, and chalk with a satiny, crisp, finely carbonated, light-to-medium body and a smooth, charming, medium-long finish. A rich-yet-crisp toasty sparkler from Down Under; just lovely.
Sidewood NV Sparkling Adelaide Hills
90 points
$18
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Aromas of juicy pear, marzipan, caramelized citrus peels, plantain, and kiwi with a satiny, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length toast with lemon marmalade and minerals finish. A cheerful Aussie sparkler for Prosecco fans.
Awards: '2019 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 5 Sparkling Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Australian Other Sparkling
90 points $18 Best Buy
Jip Jip Rocks NV Sparkling Shiraz
90 points
$19
Garnet black color. Interesting aromas of blackberry, charred pie crusts, anise, and black cassis preserve with a velvety, crisp, effervescent, dry medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long chocolate chunks, menthol, and fruit tisane finish. A fun, rich expression of bubbly Shiraz; a tasty Charcuterie companion.
Awards: '2018 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 5 Sparkling Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Australian Sparkling
Jip Jip Rocks NV Sparkling Shiraz
89 points
$19
Black garnet color. Aromas of eucalyptus and sweet blackberry with a velvety, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium body and a smooth, medium-length chocolate biscuit, mint cream, and starfruit finish. A juicy, silky sparkling shiraz that offers ripe berry notes and hallmark eucalyptus herbaceousness.
Shottesbrooke NV 1337 Heritage Series Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Adelaide Hills
89 points
$27.99
Brilliant yellow straw color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of lemon curd, peach skin, nougat, and honey cream on apple with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, interesting, medium-long finish with accents of apricot, lime, and raisin toast with fine, fruit tannins and no oak flavor. A vibrant blanc de blanc shimmering with ripe fruit and mouthwatering acidity.
89 points $27.99
Cool Woods NV Brut Sparkling South Australia
88 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Yellow straw color. Creamy, tropical aromas of papaya-apple custard and pineapple in yogurt with a supple, crisp, effervescent, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long coconut tapioca, quince, herbed meyer lemons, and starfruit finish. A tasty lightly herbal sparkler that will be nice at the table.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Shottesbrooke NV 1337 Sparkling Shiraz
88 points
$27.99
Dark violet color. Aromas of potpourri, boysenberry jam, balsamic glaze, and dark chocolate with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length toasted blueberry muffin, ganache, caramel drizzled berries, graphite, and candied violet finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A dense sparkling Shiraz bursting at the seams with fruity berry aromas and food-friendly flavors.
88 points $27.99