It must be a point of pride that in its 170th year, Seppelt chooses to, in the words of new senior winemaker, Clare Dry, “push the boundaries of traditional Seppelt shiraz.” In keeping with that theme, the 2019 vintage is the first single-block wine from the Arrawatta Hill vineyard at Great Western which lies around 3km south of the winery. The wine also employs the popular red winemaking uber-trend of the moment: whole bunches. In this instance, partial whole bunch fermented parcels were used.
So, what do whole bunches (aka, grapes with stems) bring to the party? In this case, there’s a lovely, aromatic fruit lift. It’s there on the scent of the wine and the overall liveliness of the black-hearted fruits on show which, quite frankly, put on a bit of a star turn. It’s a mix of ripe blackberries, bramble and blueberries and don’t forget the lively spice. Fruit and spice go hand in hand here, not to mention a splash of pepper. Very Grampians.
Grampians Shiraz has an in-built friendliness and approachability, all of that is a given here. What is also on display is backbone in the form of a fine but, definitely noted, tannin presence. From whole bunches? Probably.
Oak, 10 months in a mix of French barriques and puncheons prior to blending and then four months in big oak vats post-blending, is pretty smart and classy. It’s also quite subtle allowing the fruit its centre stage.