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3/05/2017

Tyson Stelzer rates Seppelt sparklings

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Tyson Stelzer’s Australian Sparkling Wine Report 2017 is in. In a first for the uniquely Australian wine style Sparkling Shiraz, the Seppelt Show Sparkling Limited Release Grampians Shiraz 2007 has been awarded Australian Sparkling Wine of the Year and 97 points while the Henty sourced Seppelt Salinger Vintage Cuvée 2013 has won Sparkling Wine of the Year Under $30 and 94 points.

“This year Seppelt has shot its way to my highest ranking of seven stars, sitting aside the great House of Arras as my two top Australian sparkling wine houses of the year,” said Tyson Stelzer.

“The Seppelt Show Sparkling Limited Release Shiraz 2007 is the first Australian sparkling wine I have ever scored 97 points, prompting me to award this cuvée my Australian Sparkling Wine of the Year, the first time I have ever bestowed this award,” he said.

Seppelt Winemaker Adam Carnaby said that it makes him proud to see such an iconic Australian wine style as Sparkling Shiraz receive such an honour. “Seppelt Show Sparkling Shiraz has a lineage dating back to the 1890s in Great Western in Victoria, when Charles Pierlot at Seppelt — or Irvines Cellars as it was known then – made some of the world’s first Sparkling Shiraz wines,” he said.

“Since then some of Australia’s greatest winemakers have lent their hand to this wine including Colin Preece and Ian McKenzie. In 2007 Emma Wood made the base wine for our current vintage Seppelt Show Sparkling Shiraz, which is a classic Show Sparkling vintage that has taken us almost a decade to make. The wine was first matured in large format French oak barrels and tank for 12 months and then underwent secondary fermentation in the bottle followed by eight years on lees prior to disgorging in December 2016,” Carnaby said.

In his report, Stelzer said the 2007 Seppelt Show Sparkling Shiraz was the pinnacle of Australian sparkling that will outlive all others. “Grand longevity is the key to this style, and even on release at a decade of age (eight years of which were spent on lees) the fruit of the Seppelt Great Western vineyard itself demands a long time yet to fully blossom. Enticingly poised, effortless, medium-bodied black cherry liqueur, black plum and blackberry fruit are here aplenty, framed in high cocoa dark chocolate, but the real distinction of this cuvée lies in its impeccably mineral, powder-fine tannins.

“Such enduring structure would crush the spirit of any mere mortal cuvée, but here it is neither confronting nor dominating propelling a thrilling finish that reverberates long with cherry liqueur and dark chocolate,” he said.

For the Seppelt Salinger Vintage Cuvée 2013, Stelzer said it was a benchmark vintage and the best value sparkling on the shelves this year. “Crafting affordable fizz of this calibre on mainland Australia calls for every bit of the long-trialled wizardry of this 150 year old winery.

“There is a confident, effortless poise to this cuvée as enduring as the grand old estate itself. Two years on lees has done nothing to diminish the purity of its bright, medium straw hue and energetic cut of red apple, beurre bosc pear and fresh lemon fruit. Time in the drives has layered subtle nougat and vanilla intrigue and furnished a creamy, finely textured, lingering finish.”

Stelzer’s Australian Sparkling Wine Report 2017 is Australia’s only dedicated sparkling wine report. With 500 reviews and 120 pages of commentary it is free to download on www.tysonstelzer.com. The inaugural report was launched in 2016 to highlight the very finest Australian sparkling wines worthy of attention.

To view the full report click here.

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WID 2017