Ashton Hills Sparkling Shiraz

There is no suggestion of the region nor the vineyard on the bottle and there needn’t be, because the wine it contains carries the unmistakable stamp of the ancient vines of Wendouree. It captures a depth and intensity of fruit with an amplitude unreached by many wines besides Penfolds Grange itself, yet simultaneously upholding a bright and vibrant fruit core. The complexity on parade here is time-stopping: liquorice, black olives, satsuma plums, blueberries and mixed spice, and that’s just the bouquet. The palate adds notes of tar and coal. With seven years behind it, the interplay between primary fruit and secondary complexity is captivating, balanced with sweetness from fortified liqueur shiraz. The tannins are firm yet fine and silky, the length and line, mind-boggling, and the longevity, who knows? A sparkling shiraz that may have no equal anywhere in the world. $40 direct.