This utterly unique wine is a flavour (and bouquet) black hole in space. It comes to you with speed and intensity more akin to a space rocket, rather than any wine or spirit you have dreamt of. The smallest sip reaches every taste bud in your mouth as you watch the remaining wine on the sides of the glass apply a near-waterproof coat of dark burnt umber colour to the sides. If the searing intensity of the flavour, the bottle, the presentation box, and my 100-point rating (it's the only wine I accord this score) is not enough, then let me say there is no other vintage wine in the world released annually after 100 years in barrel, 100% of the given age. Over time it has lost 66% of its original volume in the barrel, hence the concentration. It is sold in a specially designed and made 100ml bottle in its hinged wooden box.
100 points, Wine Companion (March 2018)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
Seppeltsfield is a showpiece of the Barossa Valley, a magnificent complex of 19th century winery buildings surrounded by almost 100 hectares of vineyards. Seppeltsfield was a focal point of the fledgling Barossa wine industry from the 1850s and now boasts the world’s longest unbroken chain of vintage wines, going back to 1878, enabling the release of a genuine 100-year-old fortified wine each year since 1978. Apart from the extraordinary range of fortifieds, Seppeltsfield today also produces a range of limited production table wines, including blends of Shiraz, Grenache and Touriga, and sparkling wines under the Gert’s Blend label.