2005 Ulithorne Sparkling Shiraz Flamma McLaren Vale

($29) Ruby-red. Fresh blackberry, cherry and plum on the nose, with a hint of violet face powder adding complexity. Crisp dark berry flavors are strikingly precise, with a degree of finesse I don't think I've ever encountered in a sparkling shiraz. Only lightly bubbly, which allows the fruit to shine. This is a genre that I'm usually only able to appreciate on a cerebral, and perhaps perverse, level. But this is wonderfully balanced, with a clean, crisp personality and a long, juicy finish. Without doubt the most appealing version of this style I've ever drunk. (The Ravensvale Group, Naples, FL)

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