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JOHN ROZENTALS celebrates a fine sparkling trio from central Victoria.

September 18, 2020 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

At winemaking college one of my lecturers taught me that sparkling shiraz, along with Rutherglen muscat and aged Hunter Valley semillon, constituted a unique Australian wine style.

It signified the beginning of a love affair with red fizz, one that culminated, I guess, when I took a glass of sparkling shiraz into a cemetary at central Victoria’s Great Western to salute the graves of the founders of the style.

Seppelts, at its Great Western winery, may well have invented sparkling shiraz — or ‘sparkling burgundy’ to use its original title — but these days another central Victorian winemaker, Andrew Koerner, of Blue Pyrenees Estate, has definitely joined the fray and seems to have produced the goods.

And please don’t look askance at the NV tag on the wines. I know that we look for what is the vintage of our table wines but the extensive use of aged reserve wine is normal in the production of fizz in Champagne and most houses value their NV offering as highly as their rare vintage wines.

And so they should, both there and here.



Blue Pyrenees Estate NV Luna ($22): A blend of estate-grown chardonnay and reserve wine form the basis of this NV house blend, enhanced by addition of a small amount of brandy to build complexity and texture. It all works a treat and the result is a top style of house bubbly to celebrate with and drink as an aperitif.

Blue Pyrenees Estate NV Dry Sparkling Rose ($28): A blanc de noir style produced mainly from estate-grown pinot noir, with a low dosage rate at final bottling to guarantee dryness. I’m not a fan of the ‘cowboy’ packaging but who am I to argue with apparently successful labelling and a fine wine. The high red-grape content shows in the wine’s palate strength.


Blue Pyrenees Estate NV Sparkling Shiraz ($28): Top-quality fully ripe fruit but not the potential for excessive production of alcohol are the keys here. A gorgeous glass of red fizz that will perfectly match roast turkey for Christmas lunch or dinner. Move over Seppelts Great Western. There’s another top notch central Victorian producer of sparkling shiraz on the block.

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