Andrew over at Spittoon “tagged” me to take part in a meme started by Beau at Basic Juice. The idea of the meme is that you nominate the best wine that you have had in the past 30 days and then pass the baton on to a fellow wine blogger as well as a food blogger.
This has come to me at an opportune time as I recently had the good fortune to try a piece of Australian wine history.
The wine in question is the very special Seppelt 1905 Para Liqueur Vintage Tawny.
The story goes that the owner and winemaker at Seppelt, Benno Seppelt wanted to commemorate the opening of a newly constructed stone cellar at Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley. He decided that he would put aside a barrel of the finest wine for that vintage and declared that it should remain unbottled for 100 years.
This was in 1878 and each subsequent year a barrel has been put aside to be untouched for a minimum of 100 years. Wine is bottled only on demand and Seppelt still has unbottled stock for all years back to 1878. This makes Seppelt the only company in the world to have significant stock of unbottled wine laid down in consecutive vintages for what is now 127 years.
Unlike a solera system, where vintages are blended together, the Seppelt 100yo Para is a true vintage wine with 100% of the wine being from the specified vintage.
This particular vintage of 100 year old Para is a blend of Mataro, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Malbec.
Tasting Note: There aren’t strong enough superlatives to do justice to the concentration and viscosity of this wine. Swirling ever so gently left a thick coat of wine along the sides of the glass for over five minutes.
An impenetrable glowing dark mahogany in colour with glimpses of olive yellow, honey and maple throughout.
Impossibly complex bouquet, one feels that you could dedicate weeks to sitting and smelling this in awe and still not unravel all the layers that it has to offer. Toffee, caramel, butterscotch, tobacco, rancio and spirity characters each as fully intense as if they were the only aromas in the wine.
On the palate you are treated to the unbelievable viscosity of the wine as it flows ever so slowly down the side of the glass and past your lips. You almost feel like you are able to chew on the wine it is so dense. The flavours are like an explosion in your mouth – Toffee, caramel, maple syrup, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, cigar box – but enough acid to keep a semblance of balance.
The finish is glorious and the astonishing aftertaste remains with you for hours, if not longer.
Verdict: 100 points. No tasting note can do it true justice.
As mentioned, the wine is bottled on demand from vintages ranging between 1878 and 1905. Each vintage costs the same to bottle, $575AU for 375ml and $1050AU for 750ml. Expensive, but an unique part of Australian wine history. For those of us not quite willing/able to part with that much hard earned money, at Seppelt’s Barossa Valley Cellar Door you can take a guided tour of the winery and then taste Seppelt’s premium wine range followed by a cheese platter and a taste of the 100 year old Para for $50 per person.