Here two interests – lesser known grape varieties and wine styles – unexpectedly meet with a sparkling red blend of 63% chambourcin, 20% shiraz and 17% graciano. Chambourcin is a hybrid grape variety (so not a vitis vinifera) that tolerates wet weather well and is winter hardy, characters that admittedly do not appear ostensibly useful in McLaren Vale. Graciano is a minor component in red Rioja blends, but is well regarded for its contribution – adding character, extract and acidity. Shiraz is of course exactly that – Australian for red wine.
I wasn’t sure how this would come together, but the result here is quite lively. There’s mint, eucalyptus and mint patties on the nose. The palate is towards off dry in impression (there’s 10g/l of residual sugar but balanced by acidity) with refreshing bubbles, supplemented by notes of plums and game together with a skinsy texture. (Alc: 12.8%, Region: McLaren Vale, Rating: Good, Drink: now)