Seppeltsfield rebirth keeps rich family tradition alive

SEPPELTSFIELD in the Barossa Valley is Australia's beating wine heart. Built by the Seppelt family on land purchased in 1850, it stayed in family hands until the mid 1980s. After Carlton and United Brewery's then wine arm purchased the property in the early 2000s it seemed destined to become more of a ghost town than the nearby Seppelt family mausoleum.

Enter a rebirth in 2007 when it moved into private hands, notably those of Warren Randall who had worked for the Seppelts in the 1980s. It holds wine treasures such as unbroken vintages of the Para Port, made yearly from each year back to 1878.

Solero Series, DP 117, Dry Flor Apera, NV

APERA is what we used to call sherry. Made from the palomino grape and aged under Flor yeast for an average of 7 years. Incredibly dry, saline and nutty with jasmine and delicate caramel highlights. Serve just chilled as an aperitif with dry roasted almonds.

 

RATING: 9/10

RRP: $32

ALC: 16.5%

Shiraz, Barossa, 2015

TABLE wines were almost an afterthought until the 1888 Gravity Flow cellar recently came back to life. Winemaker Fiona Donald now releases quality red and white Barossa staples. Subtle black pepper, pan juices and spice over blackberry and dense plums. Juicy dark raspberry flavoured heart with chewy, pliable tannins. Very drinkable.

 

RATING: 8.5/10

RRP: $38

ALC: 14.8%

 

Para Grand Tawny, NV

THE first Para 'port' barrels were laid down in 1878. Until 1976 there was a vintage 'port' released each appropriate year. Nowadays , the Para Grand Tawny is a blend, average age of the wine being 10 years. Vintages are still occasionally released and the 1917 Centenary release comes on sale this year. Unique 'Rancio' notes of walnuts, butter and dried figs with a slippery, sexy toffee mouthfeel. Complex.

 

RATING: 9.5/10

RRP: $38

ALC: 21%

 

Tony Tervoert

Wines available from major retailers and seppeltsfield.com.au

More at vinonotebook.com



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