|Wine:||Seppeltsfield “1912” Para Vintage Tawny|
|Variety:||Predominately Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre. There could be some other varietals in the mix too.|
|Maturation:||100 Years in 500 year-old fortified Oak Casks|
|Bottle Size||100ml (0.10L) or 375ml|
|RRP:||$400 Plus (100ml) $1000 Plus (375ml)|
Good evening once again wine lovers.
Tonight might just be one of my most exclusive reviews ever. This is a review of one of Australia’s most sort after treasures in the world of wine. This is Seppeltsfield’s 100-year-old Para tawny. As you might be aware Seppeltsfield is most famous for their fortified wines, ranging from their contemporary range right up to this; the Granddaddy of all fortified wines in this country perhaps even the world.
Seppeltsfield has a rich history, and this wine captures their vast and long wine history in Australia and is one of the few places in the world where you can get your hands on something that is over 100 years old. (Just to think, they were likely putting this wine into barrels when the Titanic sunk in the Atlantic Ocean.) Being the collector’s item it is its rarity is put down on a certificate of authenticity. (You can see I own bottle number 70) At $4.00 per millilitre, this is pretty much the equivalent of liquid gold.
Critically, this wine gets 100 points from all major wine journalists. It’s rare and it is something that is a brilliant masterclass of fortified wines. 100 years spent aging in oak soaks up all the moisture in the wine. Remember this is a wine with an increased residual sugar content. The longer it sits aging away the more moisture is drawn into the oak barrel leaving a thick rich and dark coloured fortified wine in return.
Colour: Thick opaque chocolate with golden syrup hue.
Aroma: A plethora of dried fruits and liquor soaked raisins, with a toffee and dark chocolate overlay. Nuances of black tea come bursting onto the scene. Something characteristically associated with fortified wines. It stains the glass and almost has the consistency of treacle. It refuses to separate from anything it touches. The flavours are so bold and rich they leap out of the glass, even with the 5mls in the glass it took over the room and I was able to smell it above anything else from 2 metres away. This is something that the best wines in the world can do. They make their presence felt as soon as they enter a room.
Palate: Wow! Just… Wow. With only having sampled 5mls of this liquid, it is an ample amount to have in one sitting. It is so rich and dense in the palate that it’s like consuming a drinkable mercury. It’s the quicksilver of the beverage world. It refuses to separate as it literally rolls around in your mouth coating your palate in a trial of rich fortified goodness. There’s flavours of really dense gateau from black forest cake. Bitterness comes through from what you would associate with 80% or darker dark chocolate. It’s still showing good acid which refines the overall sweetness of this wine, something that is nothing short of outstanding from a 100-year-old wine. The flavours will then reside in your mouth giving an aftertaste that lasts for ages. I was still picking up the wine’s flavours after 20 minutes. It is by far the most elaborate and structured fortified wine I have ever, or possibly will ever consume.
Personal Thoughts: I think we have that covered in one short word. WOW! More formally, I would say outstanding. I don’t think you need to know any more than that. I suggest if you are a major wine lover and love fortified wines, then you must at least sample one of their 100-year-old vintages before you die. And then, if you are like me you will need to have this in your life and then try to justify the appropriate time to drink it. My bottle has already spent four years in my possession, and it might never get drunk by myself. Only time and personal circumstances will tell.
I just wonder in 2051 whether they will release a bi-centennial Para?… Being established in 1851, I am sure they have kept some in barrels to go around for another 100 years. If they do, it will be another thing all major wine collectors must add to their collections.
Drink: Now – Until well after you’re dead. (If stored in a dark dry place with a constant temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius) Once opened, consume within 6-12 weeks.
The SA Wine Guy