Australia’s only sparkling Zinfandel…which won’t surprise many readers. Winemaker James Sweetapple really is obsessed by the variety. As you walk down the stairs into the winery a lengthy shelf of emptied Zinfandel and Primitivo bottles from all over the world sit on your left. His memory of each wine is still vivid.
Given the voluminous opulence of the 2010 Cargo Road Zinfandel I was slightly taken aback by the relative restraint offered by the sparkling version. 16.8% and 13.8% respectively and very different vintage conditions go a long way to explaining the difference. This still smells rich. Plum pudding, cherries, spirit soaked raisins, Old Gold Jamaica chocolate and wholemeal bread. Not as sweet as one would expect in the mouth and highly structured. Slightly coarse with plenty of drying, grainy tannin. The framework actually manages to assert itself over the flavours and the whole package needs to relax a little. Time will probably help. 89+
Tasted: February 2014