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The Great Western has a tradition of making Sparkling Shiraz that stretches back over a century. In 2006, after a 40-year hiatus, Best's decided to reinvent and rejuvenate this great tradition and endeavoured to make the definitive Sparkling Shiraz. This year, they've nailed it. This release from 2013 was picked earlier than the usual Best's Shiraz. It's spent an extra couple of years on lees than previous releases which has really pushed this to another level of class. Gary Walsh gave this 94+ points and said, "Pretty much, this is how you do it." A benchmark for this iconic Australian wine style. At $35, this is excellent buying.
What it Tastes Like
"The colour here is something else; it makes deep purple look insipid. Blackberry and violet, dark boiled XMAS cake, chocolate and leather, with a slightly briny character too. It’s dense and tannic, full of juicy purple flavour, along with raspberries, salt beef and spice. It’s almost more savoury than simply sweet, and has layers of complexity and a full throttle finish rolling with dark chocolate and a thick pillow of tannin. Pretty much, this is how you do it. Almost ready now, but will really be better still in a few years." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
95 points. "A grand expression of the finely mineral savoury texture, depth of old vine black plum skin and blackberry fruit, and savoury allure that defines the fame of this magnificent old estate. Superfine tannin texture, a creamy bead and perfectly gauged dosage unite on an enduring finish accented by dark chocolate and coffee. A wonderful Great Western sparkling shiraz today, with the stamina to age confidently." - Tyson Stelzer (Tyson Stelzer's Australian and New Zealand Wines of the Year 2017) 94+ points. "The colour here is something else; it makes deep purple look insipid. Blackberry and violet, dark boiled XMAS cake, chocolate and leather, with a slightly briny character too. It’s dense and tannic, full of juicy purple flavour, along with raspberries, salt beef and spice. It’s almost more savoury than simply sweet, and has layers of complexity and a full throttle finish rolling with dark chocolate and a thick pillow of tannin. Pretty much, this is how you do it. Almost ready now, but will really be better still in a few years." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
The Congongella vineyards were first planted by Henry Best in 1866 and are the source of our flagship wine, the Langton’s classified ‘Outstanding’ Thomson Family Shiraz. The rows of original vines produce only very small amounts of fruit and are cropped at less than two tonnes per acre (four tonnes per hectare) and then meticulously hand-harvested, selected and sorted. The vines are referred to by the CSIRO as the Concongella clone and it is the mother clone of all subsequent Shiraz plantings at Best’s Great Western. The unique factors of soil and climate in the Great Western area have been key contributors to the success of our wines. The land along the Concongella creek is flat with powdery loam overlaying a deep clay sub-soil while newer plantings are sited on frost free hills. A long, slow-ripening period and continental climate are characteristics of Great Western. Current winemaker, Justin Purser has embraced the sparkling Shiraz project and has initiated some improvements, including using aged Liqueur Muscat material from old casks at Best’s as the dosage in the Sparkling Shiraz. Justin is also working closely with Ben Thomson in the vineyard to finely tune the best vineyard block for the sparkling Shiraz. Our Sparkling Shiraz has been promoted to the Concongella Collection. We have decided to leave the wine on lees for two years longer than usual, creating a wine with greater complexity and a finer fizz. It also contains a touch of liqueur to give the wine an added layer of interest which compliments the style.
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2029
About the Producer
Best's Great Western
Best’s is one of the oldest owned family wineries in the country. They are famous for having a “nursery block” housing some of the oldest clonal material for particular varieties anywhere in the world.
Their wines are consistently excellent and they have a vineyard which is envied by much of the wine growing world. With a rich history and an illustrious past, this Victorian icon is one of the true treasures of the Australian wine scene.
History runs deep in Great Western. Some of the country’s oldest, most iconic producers have made a home for themselves here in the far West of Victoria. Shiraz and Riesling are the region’s most iconic varieties, but if you dig a little deeper, amazing examples of Pinot Meunier and other alternative varieties are waiting to be found. These are warm climate wines that maintain class and prestige.
Long held up to the rest of the world as Australia’s flagship red variety, the mighty Australian Shiraz has undergone something of a renaissance over the past two decades. While our robust styles of Shiraz from powerhouse South Australian regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale may have put Australian wine on the map, Shiraz from our cooler regions are giving the variety a new look. Wines from Canberra, all parts of Victoria, the Adelaide Hills, and the Great Southern, are all delivering wines of finesse and spice set to a lighter framework. The tapestry of Australian Shiraz is richly diverse, and will only continue to develop and mature into the future.
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