Seppeltsfield and Riedel Team Up to Showcase 1924 Para Vintage Tawny

By | 16 February 2024

Seppeltsfield, founded in the Barossa in 1851 and boasting an uninterrupted heritage of stored single vintage tawny since 1878, has been open about its goal to market its century-old wines for the emerging luxury market. The alliance with Riedel represents the most recent in a number of initiatives to bring renewed awareness to its unique annual wine product.

In 2023, the Seppeltsfield winemakers and marketing team hosted a vinous masterclass with Riedel Australia employees to evaluate 12 distinct glasses from the existing Riedel collection. The goal was to identify the perfect glass for such an aged, intense wine – and they even sent a bottle of the 1924 Para Vintage Tawny to company CEO Maximilian Riedel in Europe for evaluation. The unanimous verdict was that the Riedel Vinum Cognac Hennessy Glassware showcased the wine in the most superior way.

‘The concentration of this fortified wine was best expressed through this glassware, it optimally delivered the intricate blend of aromas and tastes to the taster. We didn’t need a new design, the Vinum Cognac Hennessy glass did the job perfectly. The enhancement it brought to the wine’s best characteristics truly surprised us,’ expressed Lauren Mudge, Seppeltsfield’s head of sales and marketing.

The correlation of proven stemware with Seppeltsfield Para Vintage Tawny builds on efforts taken in 2023 to contemporize and polish the packaging of the 100-year-old wine in gracefully contoured 100ml glass receptacles. The successful revamp incentivized Seppeltsfield to forge ahead by aligning themselves with other luxury brands like Riedel.

Such a partnership is designed to help draw attention to the 1924 wine that continues the Seppeltsfield Centennial Collection. The world’s only unbroken lineage of single vintage Tawny dates back to 1878, with each of the vintage wines having seen a minimum of 100 years in oak barrels within the Centenary Cellar at Seppeltsfield before being released to the market.

The 1924 vintage is surprisingly deceptive, being fresher than expected for a 100-year-old wine. The aroma is especially powerful, yet its richness is measured and tempered by clean, sweet notes, with concentrated coffee essence and an undertone of dark molasses framed by a whiff of green walnut liqueur, cedar cigar box shavings and vanilla pod.

Coloured the deepest walnut brown, with glowing amber ember at the rim, the wine shows a sweet meld of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre components (although percentages of each grape variety used in the blend were not recorded at vintage). On the palate, it’s an intriguing long flavour ride, with a more explosive initial impact than recent Para Centenary releases. After a smooth entry, it bites sharply as slightly bitter herbal notes and a spicy nutmeg tingle interrupt a rich, rolling chocolate and coffee tide that fills the mid palate, with acid keeping the structure taut and the flavours clean and clearly defined. The concluding note of concentrated coffee and cocoa sticks to the walls of your cheeks long, long after the last drop has drained down your throat.

Seppeltsfield chief winemaker Fiona Donald expressed surprise at the wine’s vitality. ‘The 1924 vintage shows incredible intensity, volume and mouthfeel, remarkable freshness and length driven with a type of blood orange acidity,’ she said.

Mudge revealed that they are now shifting to the exclusive use of Riedel glassware at the Seppeltsfield tasting room to serve sample tastes of their 100-year-old Para Tawny. Those who purchase the 2024 version of the Para Vintage Tawny also have the option to get a pair of Riedel Vinum Cognac Hennessy glasses that would come with the wine bottle packaged in a box for an added A$110.

The 1924 100-year-old Para Vintage Tawny by Seppeltsfield is available for purchase in the UK via Bancroft Wines (priced at RRP £1,250, which includes the sales tax), and in the United States through LEGEND imports (priced at US RRP $1,750). You can also buy it directly from the Seppeltsfield Cellar Door or through the website, with shipping options available worldwide.

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