There are few grand establishments in the Barossa Valley quite like Seppeltsfield, with its historic buildings surrounded by date palm lined avenues. You could almost be in Hollywood but then turn the corner and the old winery comes into view, filled with old wine barrels. It has been that way since since the 1800s when Seppeltsfield was founded by the Seppelt family.
But today Seppeltsfield is a very different place. There is the history that seeps from the walls, but under Warren Randall the winery has taken a turn into the modern age. Yes, you can still buy Ports that have been sitting in the Barossa for more than a century since their grapes were picked (check out the range here) but there is also the modern Barossa reds and whites, expertly crafted by Chief Winemaker Fiona Donald and her team.
There is plenty of experience in that Seppeltsfield team which brings with it a slice of history. Chief Winemaker Fiona Donald is a Baron of the Barossa and industry veteran of 30 vintages, including eleven at Seppeltsfield. She is joined by Senior winemakers Mathew Pick and Charlie Seppelt plus Group Viticulturist Kingsley Fuller. Charlie is a fifth generation winemaker and descendent of the Seppeltsfield founders.
Together they have made and released the new premium Seppeltsfield range – the Easting Eden Valley Shiraz and the Westing Barossa Valley Shiraz, both single vineyard wines. Each is distinctly regional and packaged in that Seppeltsfield glossy wine style.
2018 Seppeltsfield ‘The Westing’ Shiraz ($70 RRP)
93 Points (Matt Dunne)
From red clay limestone soils and 20 year-old vines, the wine has plump, ripe dark fruits with a chewy tannin profile supported by dark chocolate and mocha spice. It has spent ten days on skins with 30% new oak, and I love the delicate use of oak in this wine, crafting a super stylish result with oak providing great support but does not dominate at all. There is also nutmeg and cinnamon with a delicate savoury edge and balanced acidity. It is a modern version of Barossa shiraz and packs some punch for traditional South Australian shiraz lovers, but also has the energy and freshness seen across the Seppeltsfield range.
93 Points (Angus Hughson)
A Barossa classic from start to finish beginning with its bright, deep ruby colour. The wine is aromatically big and bold with licorice, blackberry jam and leathery fruits all wound up in a decadent package. The palate is then powerful, dense and lush with bright sweet fruit lifted by touches of pepper and aged meat all well integrated with French oak. There is plenty of tannic structure too with a long and full-bodied finish suggesting this wine is well up for ten years in the cellar.
2018 Seppeltsfield ‘The Easting’ Shiraz ($70 RRP)
94 Points (Matt Dunne)
From the Eden Valley vineyard (Garden of Eden), which is a slightly cooler site, on grey sand with rocky and depleted soils, this wine was fermented in the gravity cellar that ever so gently extracts colour and tannin. Blue and black fruits shine here.. blueberry, black olive tapenade, refined tannins, dark chocolate, forest floor, with hints of sage and thyme and some more dominant white pepper spice. There is a strong line and length with a detailed primary core of fruit alongside some lighter spice touches around the edges. The sweeter fruit notes are rounded out by beautiful balanced acidity. Delicious with beef short rib!
2019 Seppeltsfield ‘No. EC3’ Tinta Cao Tinta Amarela Touriga ($45 RRP)
93 Points (Angus Hughson)
A quick taste of this wine and it is absolutely clear the Portuguese grape varieties have a serious future in the Barossa – this wine is just so drinkable. It has beautiful colour and explodes with youthful aromas – there is sour cherry, beetroot and tomato leaf fruits with a touch of earth and subtle oak. The palate is juicy and mid-weight – fleshy ripe fruit with some intriguing new leather and spicy nuances are driven by acidity and grainy tannins. It is a classic food wine – almost like a super-rustic Beaujolais – finishing with concentration and length, which makes it a perfect match for beef slow cooked over charcoal, Argentinian style.
You can buy this and all the Seppeltsfield wines, including their astounding Ports, right here.