Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Sommeliers Australia masterclass hosted by several wineries from the Grampians. The tasting was to showcase three long established producers and three emerging producers and share the sense of excitement and renewal coming from the region.
Winemakers from Best’s, Mount Langi Ghiran, Seppelt, Halls Gap Estate, Jamsheed and The Story took those attending through a Riesling bracket followed by current vintage Shiraz 2013. There was good discussion about the minerality that shines as a feature of wine from this area and the use of restrained residual sugar in the Riesling to counter the acid / minerality and contribute a textural component to the wine. The Shiraz discussion was around the vintage and a slightly different fruit profile for the 2013 Shiraz, with notable tannin that engaged and in time may well be the driving feature of these wines.
The selection of wine included:
- Seppelt Great Western Riesling 2014
- Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Riesling 2014
- Halls Gap Estate Riesling 2015 (tank sample)
- Best’s Great Western ‘Foudre ferment’ Riesling 2014
- Jamsheed Garden Gully Riesling 2013
- The Story Westgate Vineyard Marsanne Roussanne Viognier 2014
Shiraz 2013 bracket
- Seppelt St Peter’s Grampians Shiraz
- Best’s Bin 0 Great Western Shiraz
- Jamsheed Garden Gully Vineyard Syrah
- Halls Gap Estate Shiraz
- The Story Westgate Vineyard Grampians Shiraz
- Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz
The final bracket was a superb line up of aged Shiraz dating back to 1971. The wines were all incredible and whilst one was at the end of its journey the rest of the wines still had time on their side. We tried the following wines:
- Seppelt Great Western Hermitage 1971
- Best’s Bin 0 Shiraz 1984
- Best’s Bin 0 Shiraz 1998
- Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz 1998
- Seppelt St Peters Shiraz 2002
- Mount Langi Ghiran Langi Shiraz 2004
- Jamsheed Shiraz 2006 (magnum)
And to end a great tasting, attendees had the opportunity to sample a freshly disgorged (3 days prior) Seppelt Sparkling Shiraz 1986…….lucky me!
For a region with such history, vines all on own rootstocks (dating back to James Busby and possible Rhone origin), incredible success with golds and trophies from major shows, plus a Jimmy Watson thrown in, the Grampians wine region is one that should be on your radar when you are next purchasing a Riesling or Shiraz.