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
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 NV Sparkling Pinot Noir-Chardonnay
91 points
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 NV Sparkling Rosé Adelaide Hills
90 points
Silvery pink color. Aromas and flavors of pink lady apples, under-ripe strawberries, nectarine, sliced celery, and hints of toasted shortcake with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, captivating, medium-length finish manifesting notes of pink peppercorn with a suggestion of oak flavor. A light, fresh, fruity and buoyant sparkler with a dry sensibility.
Sidewood 2014 Isabella Rosé Sparkling Wine Adelaide Hills
88 points
Old gold color. Aromas of buttery croutons, granny smith apple vinaigrette, and lemon spritzed omelet with fresh herbs with a supple, spritzy, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length toasted slivered almonds and poached apricot finish with fruit tannins. A zingy, distinctive sparkler that’s wild and free.