Mitchell Sparkling Peppertree Shiraz NV

This is no easy-over, sweet, ripe red bubbly. There is some serious intrigue in here, with clear evidence of winery-aged material included in the multi-vintage cuvee. It’s made in the traditional method – kept on its lees in this very bottle before finished and dosed with eight-year-old fortified shiraz.

So, that’s the background, and well worth knowing. To pour and taste, this is right up there with the best of its class, and yes, there’s a wave of mint-eucalyptus to start, which is totally acceptable in such an Aussie wine style. The rest is as rustic and rural as all get out: earthy, rocky, leathery as well as suggesting tinges of kitchen garden herbs like rosemary and sage that have been seeped in a bucket of crushed blackberries. There’s more too – with a decent mouthful of tannins to grip and guide you on its lingering, soulful way. Impressive and heroic.

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