Seppeltsfield Para Port Vintage Tawny (375ML half-bottle) 1908
Other Dessert from Barossa Valley, Australia
Seppeltsfield's extraordinary vintage Para Port is released annually when it is 100 years old. Three 500-liter casks are produced (from a blend of Mataro, Shiraz, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon), with two used for topping over the 100 year aging process, before the one remaining cask is bottled at age 100. According to the winery, over the course of 100 years, the Beaume peaks and then stabilizes when the wine reaches 50 to 70 years of age. The acidity also peaks and stabilizes at around age 50. At age 100, the balance between sugar, acid, and alcohol is considered ideal and the wine is ready to be bottled and sold. As best I can tell, the wine is timeless; the 1877 was incredibly intense and concentrated with no end in sight.
The Wine Advocate - "The 1908 Para Port Vintage Tawny is an opaque brown/black color with aromas of fruit cake, dark chocolate, and burnt toffee that are still remarkably vibrant and room –filling. On the palate, it is viscous and weighty with a splendid balance of sweetness, acid, and alcohol. The rich flavors are complex as well as enhanced by a sense of elegance. The finish goes on and on and on. After doing the vertical tasting, any improvement with further cellaring (while possible) is not worth the wait. It is expensive but unique; how often do you get to drink history (the last year the Chicago Cubs won the World Series)."
Australian Wine Companion - "The colour is slightly less dense than that of the 1918, yet paints the glass so thoroughly it resists attempts to rinse it. It combines all the expected intensity with an unexpected degree of elegance. (Tasted on its own, elegance would likely be the last thing in your mind, but such is the comparative element of all mega-tastings of great wines.) An extra element of spice and cedar appears moments before the flavours surge across the palate, then emphatic rancio on a finish which knows no end."
The Seppeltsfield vineyard is one of the largest and most historic in the Barossa Valley, having been initially planted in the 1850s. It comprises nearly 100 hectares of Barossa’s traditional grape varieties Shiraz and Grenache, with Cabernet Sauvignon ( more recently introduced ) and the traditional European fortified varieties of Touriga (for VP –‘vintage port” style) and Palomino (for the “sherry” styles). Some of the grapes from this vineyard are targeted at the very highest products from the Penfolds stable- Grange, St Henri and RWT Shiraz. A VIP (Vineyard Improvement Programme) is in place to ensure the very highest standard of fruit is produced for the next century or two! View all Seppeltsfield Wines
About Barossa ValleyView a map of Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa ValleyBarossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Eden ValleyRight next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley proper. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.