Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Chardonnay 2021
Seppelt-Drumborg-Vineyard-Chardonnay-2021

Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

Sale price$39.95
Henty, Victoria, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Seppelt

Country: Australia

Region: Henty

Vintage: 2015

Critic Score: 96

Alcohol: 13.0%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2035


Mealy, rich, complex and long. The acidity from the brilliant Drumborg Vineyard dictates a juicy, mouthwatering experience - Erin Larkin

"Simply superb and a must buy for those of you who are acid hounds. A finely structured, yet powerful expression of Henty chardonnay. Huge potential."  Nick Munday

The Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard Chardonnay is sourced exclusively from the prized Drumborg Vineyard in Victoria's Henty region, one of the southern-most vineyards in mainland Australia. Planted in 1964 by Karl Seppelt and forged by icy winds from the Southern Ocean, the Drumborg vineyard produces a chardonnay that is much sought-after due to its fruit purity, structure, intensity of flavor and cellaring potential.   

"Even in a good year like 2021, there's no escaping Drumborg's racy acidity. It stands sentinel over the '21 chardonnay, guarding the wine's structure and fruit intensity as it continues to age, and bringing a lively minerality in its wake. It's a mainstay of the wine, a feature, that almost – almost – threatens to dominate the wine. Look a little closer and there is a subtlety, too, working its way to the surface.  Red apple, grapefruit pulp, lemon zest, peach skin aromas. A tight, clenched fist of citrus fruit joins almond meal, quince on the palate, the latter a real lip-smacking feature. It must be said that the winemaker regards 'mineral acidity' as a hallmark of the region. It's a worthwhile distinction because that mineral-ness brings a touch of complexity and tension to the chardonnay, something that makes it quite out of the ordinary. It is to be celebrated."  Jeni Port

"Very pale straw with green hues. On the nose there are savoury notes, including toasted curry leaf balance juicy, white nectarine, fresh lemon zest and flinty minerality. Powerful purity, it is restrained and corseted by talcy, driving acid and elevated by layered white peach and lemon citrus fruit, flintstone, savoury cashew and nougat. Textural, fine grained phenolics add extra depth and persistence. This wine will take many years to unwind to it's full potential.

Whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented with full solids and close to 100% malolactic fermentation. Lees stirred once a month and matured unsulphured in 225L French barrique, 40% new oak overall, for 9 months.

A dry late winter with very wet conditions during October and November. The summer growing season was mild with a cool and relatively dry harvest period. These conditions resulted in below average yields but an excellent quality vintage for Drumborg in 2021."  Seppelt

Expert reviews

"Simply superb and a must buy for those of you who are acid hounds. The palate is spotlessly clean, juicy and vibrant, the chardonnay fruit wrapped around a coil of racy mineral acidity. A finely structured, yet powerful expression of Henty chardonnay. Huge potential."  Nick Munday, Canterbury Wines - 96 points and Special Value Wine   

"In a different universe to its Jaluka Henty Chardonnay sibling. The complex flowery, scented and powdery bouquet slips alongside the intense and equally complex palate. Incoming winemaker Clare Dry has nailed a wine that allows delicacy and intensity equal time, stone fruit and grapefruit ditto. Will reveal more and more over the next five-plus years. Drink by 2032."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 95 points and Special Value Wine  

"Limey, saline, fine and gently savoury. The wine is pent up, lighter than expected but still with plenty of texture, waxiness, the core of frisky, brittle, briny acidity. Seems to hold lots of flavour, stick to its nuttiness and Parisian almond zone flavours, yet bright, long, tight. Complex, quietly. Delicacy a forte. Does so many things, and delivers a verity to region and variety. Seriously good gear here. Drink : 2022 - 2030."  Mike Bennie, The Wine Front - 95 points

"Pale colour. Lemon curd, grapefruit, flinty aromas with hint vanilla, marzipan notes. Well concentrated, complex and creamy with lovely grapefruit, marzipan, vanilla flavours, some grilled nut/toasty notes, fine slinky textures, very attractive mid palate creaminess and fresh crisp acidity. A neatly balanced wine with lovely fruit definition, complexity and oak integration. Drink now – 2028."  Andrew Caillard MW - 95 points

"The 2021 Drumborg Chardonnay is a completely different beast from the Jaluka (same vintage) tasted beside it. Where that wine is uncomplicated, tropical and fresh, this is mealy, rich, complex and long. The acidity that so defines some of the other great wines from the brilliant Drumborg Vineyard (such as Riesling) is here on show, and it dictates a juicy, mouthwatering experience. This is rambunctious in its disposition, raw almost but good. It will be better in a year. Drink: 2022 - 2032."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 94+ points

"A multitudinous weave of tatami, green mango, yellow plum and white peach, sewn across a quilt of lees-inflected flint, almond meal and pungency. A perfect confluence of breadth, generosity of flavour and tension. Very good drinking across the immediate to mid-term."  Ned Goodwin MW - 94 points

"Mealy, nutty, nougat, white flowers, nectarine and grapefruit aromas. Fine, layered and long on the palate, citrus pith, white peach, nutty oak and lively, bright acidity. Generous with plenty of layers and complexity. Drink: 2022-2029."  Aaron Brasher, The Real Review - 93 points

"The 2021 Seppelt Drumborg Chardonnay is your classic, modern Australian style which delivers with poise and understated power. There is delicious delicacy to the aromatics that draw you in thanks to an array of citron and chalk wrapped up in a blanket of spicy, cinnamon oak with a touch of lemongrass in the mix. Juicy and vibrant, it is acid driven, delicately weighted and fine-boned with a gentle initial nod to Chablis on the palate before building more savoury, nutty, nougat influences on a long, dry and tangy palate. A delicious expression of Henty Chardonnay. Drink: 2026-2033."  Angus Hughson, Wine Pilot - 93 points

"Even in a good year like 2021, there's no escaping Drumborg's racy acidity. It stands sentinel over the '21 chardonnay, guarding the wine's structure and fruit intensity as it continues to age, and bringing a lively minerality in its wake. It's a mainstay of the wine, a feature, that almost – almost – threatens to dominate the wine. Look a little closer and there is a subtlety, too, working its way to the surface.  Red apple, grapefruit pulp, lemon zest, peach skin aromas. A tight, clenched fist of citrus fruit joins almond meal, quince on the palate, the latter a real lip-smacking feature. It must be said that the winemaker regards "mineral acidity” as a hallmark of the region. It's a worthwhile distinction because that mineral-ness brings a touch of complexity and tension to the chardonnay, something that makes it quite out of the ordinary. It is to be celebrated. Drink: 2022-2035."  Jeni Port, Wine Pilot – 93 points

Awards

Special Value Wine – Canterbury Wines 

Drumborg vineyard

Drumborg Vineyard

The Drumborg range of wines are sourced exclusively from the prized Drumborg Vineyard in Victoria's Henty region, one of Australia's leading cool climate regions and southern-most vineyard in mainland Australia. Riesling was the first variety planted at Drumborg in 1964 by Karl Seppelt. The vineyard is swept by icy winds from the Southern Ocean and produces wines that are renowned for their fruit purity, structure and intensity of flavor.

"The half-century-old vineyard has been described as remarkable, even mystical, regarding its capacity to produce wines of incredible beauty despite the rugged, challenging and sometimes precarious, nature of the climate.

Blustering winds from the southern Indian Ocean and long, wet winters are not what springs to mind when selecting new vineyard land. But that is precisely what was chosen by the Seppelts. Third-generation family member Karl Seppelt graduated from Roseworthy and began managing the vineyards at the family winery in South Australia. B Seppelt & Sons were well known for their fortified wines, however, the market of the day was changing and there was a new need for table wine grapes.

Fortunately, B Seppelt & Sons owned a winery at Great Western in Victoria, and a gently undulating 190ha land parcel was purchased in 1964 at Drumborg, 200km from the winery. It was cooler and had more rain than Great Western, and its southerly aspect exposed it to the full weight of the south-westerly weather fronts. There were, unsurprisingly, no other vineyards around. One suspects that the Great Western winery's focus on sparkling wines was a factor in choosing such a cool site. That said, the Seppelts were well before their time, embarking on cool-climate viticulture before it was fashionable.

Drumborg is now one of a handful of vineyards in the region known as Henty. There are many different varieties planted at the site, including chardonnay and pinot noir, though riesling was the first variety planted. The original clone is unknown though it is suspected to be GM198 imported from Geisenheim."  

Seppelt vineyard manager Larry Sadler, who has worked on the block for a quarter of a century, takes his custodianship of the vineyard very seriously. 'Tasting fruit through the full length of the ripening process is one of the great privileges of managing the Drumborg Vineyard. I taste the grapes from before the birds are interested – when the acid is eye-watering; through the waves of ripening, until the last of the golden-orange berries, left after harvest, have been cleaned from the vines.'

There have been only five vineyard managers since the 1960s, despite the multiple changes of ownership. Before Sadler, Allen McLean – a true storyteller – worked the block for more than 30 years. It's clear that the place gets into one's soul, even if it's whipped there by the wind.

There is a long list of winemakers who have been part of the Drumborg story but none more than Ian McKenzie. Emma Wood, Jo Marsh and Adam Carnaby have been among the recent custodians. Toni Paterson MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine

 

Drumborg Vineyard sign

About the winery

Seppelt Underground Cellars

Seppelt is one of Australia's most historic wine producers. Few Australian wineries have carved such a distinguished name for both still and sparkling wines. Not only is Seppelt a pioneer of white and red sparkling wine in Australia, but it also crafts some of the country's most collected table wines and has helped pave the way for cool climate styles in Australia.

Seppelt wines capture a diversity of Victorian terroirs. It sources fruit from vineyards situated in the cool Grampians, the Henty Hinterland, Heathcote and Bendigo. Each region offers parcels of unique character and distinctive regional typicity. The backbone of Seppelt's portfolio are the three iconic wines; St Peters Shiraz, Drumborg Riesling and the Show Sparkling Limited Release Shiraz, which is made only in exceptional years. 

The Seppelt Great Western winery traces its history back to 1865 when it was founded by Joseph Best – his brother also notably planted nearby. The vine material was sourced from St Peters Vineyard, which was the region's first vineyard planted just two years earlier in 1863. Best commissioned gold miners to dig the underground tunnels or drives that the winery is famous for. Those drives were expanded by Hans Irvine who purchased the estate after Best's sudden death in 1887 at the age of 57.

Irvine also expanded plantings and employed the ex-winemaker from Pommery, Charles Pierlot. At that time, some sparkling wine was being made locally, but it was Irvine's commitment that established the strong tradition in the region. That included what is often credited as the first Sparkling Burgundy, as it used to be called, made from red grapes, while sparkling whites were made from ondenc (once a common Bordeaux grape but now mainly grown in Gaillac), which has naturally high acidity.

By the early 1900s, there were over 1.6 kilometres of drives for cellaring and Great Western was Australia's largest wine producer. The operation was sold to Benno Seppelt in 1918, who added the family name and expanded the business further.

Fast forward to today and the winery is part of the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio, but the traditions are still very much alive. Winemaker Clare Dry, who spent 13 years crafting wines in South Australia, took over from Adam Carnaby from the 2021 vintage.

Wine region map of Victoria

Victoria

Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.