The grapes for Hardy’s Sparkling Shiraz (vineyard, snooth) were grown in South Australia, specifically in the McLaren Vale and Padthaway. The wine was a deep, inky purple, so it was difficult to see the bubbles, but when I looked closely, the glass was full of rapidly rising, small bubbles. The wine had a deep, fruit stew smell that was dominated by plums. In the mouth, the wine was surprisingly light feeling and the bubbles were ver persistent. The pluminess on the nose was just as strong in the mouth. The plum flavors were followed by a by a hint of menthol, which gave the wine a very medicinal taste. All together, the wine tasted like thick Dr. Pepper, with tiny champagne-type bubbles instead of the big, soda carbonation-type bubbles.
Is this worth a glass after work? Eh…I think that depends on whether or not sparkling red wines are your thing. At $19, buying a bottle of Hardy’s Sparkling Shiraz was a worthwhile experiment, but it confirmed that I prefer my bubbly to be light and refreshing, not heavy and dense. I tried judging the wine on its merits as a shiraz rather than on my bubbly taste preference, since that was the purpose of this experiment, but even doing that, I think this sparkler was just OK. It was too stewy to be anything more than that.
Overall: 2 corks