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Seppeltsfield Barossa 2020 Release by Andrew Caillard MW

Seppeltsfield Barossa 2020 Release by Andrew Caillard MW

Andrew Caillard MW writes for Langton’s to share his knowledge of Seppeltsfield and his enthusiasm for their new Grounds range of wines including the Easting and Westing Shiraz. Explore our portfolio of Seppeltsfield. 

The Easting Garden of Eden Vineyard

Seppeltsfield, under the ownership of entrepreneur and winemaker Warren Randall, has undergone a remarkable transformation. Although best known for its fortified wines — especially the Centenary Para Liqueur Tawny series — the brand has now returned to making table wines under the Seppeltsfield brand name.

The complicated agreements and restrictions imposed through acquisition are now unravelling allowing Seppeltsfield to steer a more direct course into the future.

‘...a jewel in the Australian Wine Industry’s crown.’


Anyone who visits Seppeltsfield will know that it is a remarkable 19th Century vision in perfect working order. The 1888 gravity-fed cellar is a jewel in the Australian Wine Industry’s crown. A portrait photograph of Benno Seppelt’s late 19th Century winemaking team alongside a more recent example, in exactly the same setting, shows that the essence of the Seppelt family’s dream is still in motion. Warren Randall has updated the cellar by lining all of the open fermenters with stainless steel to promote hygiene and continuity. Add a remarkable team of winemakers headed up by ex-Penfolds winemaker Fiona Donald and some of the best vineyard resources in the Barossa Valley, it becomes quite clear that Seppeltsfield promises so much more. Imagination, energy, bloody good craftsmanship and empathy for the Barossa environment all play their part in building a fascinating picture of modern Australian winemaking.


The Seppeltsfield brand reaches back into the history of the Barossa and the remarkable Seppelt family heritage to build a new vision. The connecting rods are the living museum of 19th and 20th Century Para Liqueur Tawnies, the 1888 gravity-flow cellar and Fiona Donald’s winemaking philosophy. The latter element is related to the way winemakers employ their craft and differentiate their wines.


‘...Seppeltsfield is very much at the forefront of Australian winemaking premiumisation and authenticity.’


Seppeltsfield Winemaking Team

Without going into detail, there is a direct line of winemaking techniques that have taken place over the last 150 years that bring about an Australian way of winemaking. These Seppeltsfield wines in many ways show these bloodlines. It starts with the scribblings of ‘Maro’ (Sir William Macarthur) and continues through the influence of Alexander Charles Kelly, Professor Arthur Perkins, Thomas Hardy and others.

The techniques employed by Ray Beckwith and Max Schubert consolidated many of the technical advances of the time. Although there are variations on many themes, further field initiatives, technical breakthroughs and sparks of individual genius, many winemakers throughout Australia, through their education and experience handed down through the generations, are intuitively making wines that have the stability, freshness and balance to age for the long term.


The winemaking and oak maturation techniques at Seppeltsfield have a distinct Australian flavour. In addition to the tried and tested, the exploration of new grape varieties and the characteristics of individual vineyard sites establish a diverse and interesting hymn sheet of wine styles and tastes. As a consequence, Seppeltsfield is very much at the forefront of Australian winemaking premiumisation and authenticity. And I think these four releases exemplify these qualities.


2019 Seppeltsfield EC3, based on Portuguese varieties, shows an intent to make something that is different, yet an obvious progression from the heritage of the Seppeltsfield brand. The 2018 Seppeltsfield EC4 reaches into the storied past of Seppelt and embraces the popular cabernet-shiraz polemic where each variety complements each other like yin and yang.


2018 Seppeltsfield The Westing and The Easting Shirazes express the different terroirs of the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley in a compelling way, yet still offer the richness, volume and freshness of this regional style. Although the precise map coordinates of the vineyards on the labels are a bit over the top, these two wines articulate sub-regional definition very well and show the depth of thinking that’s going on at Seppeltsfield.


Easting and Westing

Seppeltsfield is fully engaged with the development of the Barossa’s fine wine narrative. The Barossa Grounds project, which seeks to define the sub-regional difference of the region, has become a massive talking point among collectors and drinkers. The diversity of style, beautiful aromas and nuanced flavours derived from individual vineyard sites or sub-regions promise to build the Barossa’s fine wine standing throughout the world of wine.


2019 Seppeltsfield No. EC3 Tinta Cao, Tinta Amarela, Touriga


Medium deep colour. Intense fruit-driven wine with lifted black cherry dried roses aniseed aromas and underlying roasted walnut notes. Juicy textured wine with inky dark cherry lead pencil dried roses flavours, attractive mid-palate viscosity and fine slinky tannins. Finishes long and sweet. Delicious early-drinking wine with lovely density and freshness. 14% alc Drink now – 2026 94 points

A distinctive Barossa dry red made from dry-grown Portuguese grape varieties, first planted in the region more than 20 years ago. A small spell in seasoned French oak puncheons and foudres

Tinta Cao (35.4%), Tinta Amarela (35.4%), Touriga (29.3%)


2018 Seppeltsfield No. EC4 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

Deep colour. Intense blackberry praline cedar graphite aromas with roasted chestnut notes. Well concentrated vigorous wine with dense chocolatey, blackberry, mulberry flavours, muscular assertive tannins, a rich voluminous core, underly roasted chestnut vanilla oak and chalky minerality. A long leafy cabernet finish giving the wine extended vinosity and length. A lovely traditional style. Delicious wine. Best to keep for a while. 2021-2030 14.5% 95 points


A classic Australian claret style with the density, richness and firmness to build further complexity and interest. The No EC4 moniker harks back to the 1960s when Seppelt blended its best parcels of wine to reach the optimum style. The modern Seppeltsfield idiom is based on a single region, whereas the old Seppelt bottlings were derived from the Barossa and Great Western.


53% cabernet sauvignon 47% shiraz
God’s Hill (Lyndoch) and Katingi Vineyards (Northern edge)
30% new French oak hogsheads and 70% seasoned oak hogsheads


2018 Seppeltsfield The Westing Shiraz, Barossa Valley

Deep colour. Fresh black cherry, blackberry graphite, chocolatey aromas. Richly flavoured, buoyant and animated wine with deep-set black cherry, blackberry, strawberry fruits, fine gravelly, touch al-dente textures, and underlying roasted walnut complexity. Finishes firm and juicy with chinotto notes. Very good vigour and length. The alcohol of 15.5% is well integrated into the full-bodied richness of the wine. Drink now – 2028+ 95 points

The Western Grounds Vineyard; Seppeltsfield V Block

14 months in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads


2018 Seppeltsfield The Easting, Eden Valley

Medium deep crimson. Intense red cherry, raspberry mulberry fruits with herb garden notes. Generous inky textured wine with flooding red cherry, mulberry, raspberry fruits, fine grainy tannins, attractive mid-palate concentration and underlying ginger mocha notes. Finishes with plentiful raspberry pastille notes and long feathery tannin plume. Beautiful wine. 14.5% alc Drink now – 2028 96 points

The Eastern Grounds Vineyard; Garden of Eden Vineyard
14 months in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads

To explore the wines of Seppeltsfield please your broker or shop online.



Further Reading


Burton McMahon: a Sense of Place

Burton McMahon for Langton’s The Yarra Valley collaboration between Dylan McMahon and Matt Burton… 

Levantine Hill is an inspirational Australian first

Levantine Hill: an inspirational Australian first

Ned Goodwin MW writes for Langton’s about Levantine Hill. The Yarra Valley project is beyond aspirational...

Wills Domain: Margaret River Luxe Home Cooking

Wills Domain: Margaret River Luxe Home Cooking

During the depths of lockdown, we had a chat with the good people at Wills Domain… 


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