Primo Estate Joseph Sparkling Red (July 2013 disgorgement)
13.5%, Cork, $70
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‘Don’t ask any questions, the answer is in the bottle’
They’re the final words on the back label of this Primo Sparkling Red, the comment a reference to just how much of a mega blend this is made from.
Just listen to these ingredients: A portion of Primo Estate Shiraz from every vintage since the eighties; a hogshead of Primo Estate’s Moda Cabernet Merlot and a random top-up of old reds from the early sixties and seventies bought at auction. Better still, the final blend is liqueured with a mix of old Australian fortifieds.
Intriguing as ever.
This 2013 disgorgement too is a high achiever, the final wine as complex and complete as you could ask for, with a little dose of nearly everything.
It smells principally of rich and decadent McLaren Vale Shiraz, all ripe and expansive choc plum richness. Yet over the top there is more than a hint of the dusty, baked earth decay of 40 year old old Aussie red, suitably topped off with some of cassis and formic of Moda for balance, ultimately producing a wine that smells young and old all at once.
Happily it tastes as good as it smells, the palate even more vibrant than expected, with both the faintly oak sweetened richness of young Shiraz sitting amongst layers of rather more savoury flavours. It finishes quite delicately given some of the components, the liqueur component adding more nutty development rather than just sugar (which is a very good thing).
A delicious, wonderfully complex sparkling red, I genuinely loved drinking this. Long phallic bottle was a hit on the Christmas table too.
Score: 18.7/20, 95/100
Would I buy it? In a heartbeat.
I am a fan of aussie sparkling reds and have been contemplating a bottle of this for several months. The one thing that holds me back is that I believe the fruit in this is rack dried. I have tried several other rack dried reds and don't believe I am a fan of that style. The wine to my palate is too punchy with each flavour of the wine taking on a "look at me quality"! I found this with dt frost dodger shiraz (sure they are very different wines) to the point where I almost walked away.
I hope this conveys my clumsy attempt to capture what I am trying to say.
Am I likely to find a similar "racked quality" in this sparkling red ?
As always many thanks