Had a Glass: Rockford Black Shiraz

Vintage: NV, disgorged in 2005
Producer: Rockford
Variety: Shiraz
Designation: Black Shiraz
Region: Australia
Sub-region: South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
ABV: 13.5%
Price: $50 AUD, not available in BC

He says: This is a very unusual, unique wine, but utterly enjoyable. A bit closed on the nose, it explodes on the palate with beautiful fruit, balance, and a perfect hint of structure. I found it very refreshing, with the bubbles and light structure dancing across the tongue with black fruit and cherry flavours, and a slight grip of tannin that Champagne just can’t provide. For those that have never had a quality sparkling Shiraz, I know what you’re thinking given the utter dross we have in Canada. However, until you’ve had the leaders in the category, it’s best you bite your tongue.

She says: This is a cult wine in Australia that is very difficult to get one’s hands on. I managed to get three bottles, five years ago, right before moving to Canada. I had high expectations for this wine and it definitely delivered. It was a world away from the syrupy sweet examples that are available in North America. It was lighter in body than I expected, however that translated into a level of finesse and elegance on the palate rarely seen. I’m very excited to have imported my last bottle back into Canada to enjoy soon!

Tasting note

Looks like: Clear, med+ ruby/purple, bubbles!
Smells like: Clean, med- intensity, youthful, grape soda, black fruit, cherry, earth, youthful but with a hint of development
Tastes like: Dry, med acidity, med body, med+ intensity, med tannin, grape soda, black fruit, plum, cherries, licorice, med alcohol, med+ finish
Summary: Excellent to outstanding, Ready to drink

3 comments to Had a Glass: Rockford Black Shiraz

  • Jealous of this! I’ve had a good sparkling shiraz before from E&E – outstanding and, as you say, completely different from the crap we usually get here. I’m sure the rockford is even more interesting.

    • WCVR

      There were a whole load of top sparkling Shiraz’s we had the pleasure of trying. Our favorites were from Buller and Campbell’s in the Rutherglen area. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the Barossa area, and a lot of the great bottles originate from there.

      Read some history of sparkling Shiraz, and apparently it was inspired by sparkling Burgundy (red). Have you ever come across a bottle of that?

  • Shea

    That’s fascinating. I havecome across sparkling red burg. Though mostly it is poor quality and drink within the region. There are some exceptions however, including one from boisset made from 1iere cru fruit. Not sure if we’ll ever see it in this market though.

Wine truths

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Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.