How much would you pay to experience the sensory overload of a wine crafted a century ago? Surely such a thing isn’t possible in Australia you may ask, if so only reserved for somewhere of the winemaking ‘Old World’ of France, Germany or Portugal?
In fact, such an experience can be had in the very heart of Australia’s famous wine region, the Barossa Valley. Seppeltsfield, a winery steeped in South Australian heritage, will unveil its 1914 100 Year Old ‘Para’ Tawny in February, set to be the most sought after vintage since the inaugural 1878 release.
Remarkably, the estate has indeed been releasing a 100 year old wine each year for nearly 4 decades. The first, the 1878, unveiled after a century maturing in barrel in 1978. Boasting Australian Tawny (once known as ‘Port’) reserves of every year from 1878 onwards, the estate remains the only winery in the world to annually release a 100 year old wine.
On Thursday 20th February 2014, the 1914 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny will be released to the world, albeit reflected in a humble affair at the winery’s Barossa Cellar Door, where public have the opportunity to drop in and taste liquid treasure for $30 a sip.
The 100 year Old Para Vintage Tawny has been a past recipient of 7 perfect scores from preeminent wine writer, James Halliday, scoring the previous 7 vintages 100/100 points and continues as the only Australian wine he has ever honoured with such a rating. 100 point ratings have also been received from international sources, namely Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. All eyes will be on the 1914 to see if the remarkable track record can continue.
With less than 250 Litres available for sale world-wide, the 1914 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Tawny will be released for $1500 per 375ml bottle and $500 per 100ml, signalling a realisation of the liquid’s sheer
The 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny, a blend of red grape varieties including Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro, is fortified through the addition of grape spirit and then left to gracefully age in barrel for 100 years. Two thirds of it is thought to evaporate over its lifetime as it progressively oxidises and builds in concentration and complexity.
Given the added historical significance of 1914 with the beginning of World War I, Seppeltsfield will also bottle a limited number of commemorative sets in collaboration with the Australian War Memorial. The estate expects such a milestone to place increased pressure on the reserves available for sale of 1914 and particularly the 1915, given the impending centenary observance of the ANZAC Gallipoli landing.
Seppeltsfield Managing Director, Warren Randall, believes the world - and the estate itself - are still realising the international treasure-status of the Centennial Collection and 100 year old Tawny in particular. “We know how special the Centennial Collection reserve is and often reflect on the vision of Benno Seppelt to begin the legacy, we simply were under-valuating it”, he said. “The 1914 will signify a revaluation of the stock to better reflect its place as one of the rarest and most precious liquids in the world. It truly is the essence of perfection”, he added. The 1914 Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Para Tawny, as well as other vintages dating back to 1882, are available from seppeltsfieldcentennialcollection.com.au or via the cellar door, ph. (08) 8568 6217.
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