Seppelt’s Chalambar Shiraz review:
“Chalambar Shiraz. Staple of Australian red wine drinking life. Made with grapes grown in the Grampians and Heathcote regions. This release is certainly not one to disappoint. Volume, style and complexity are all in a good place: flavours of red and black berries, healthy serves of cloves and black pepper, sandalwood and campfire notes, and just enough smoky oak to lend it some polish. It’s the kind of red you can thoroughly enjoy without ever getting overly excited, if that makes sense. It doesn’t scream high quality but its mix of ripe fruit and spice notes would be just the ticket, on most occasions.”
92 Points – Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, August 2018, Drink: 2018 – 2028
Seppelts history is closely linked with the Great Western region of Victoria. Founded in 1851 their wines are often some of the best in Victoria. Great Western certainly favours reds which Seppelts exploits to their advantage. Their top wines: St Peter’s Shiraz, Show Sparkling Shiraz, Drumborg Riesling and more are often considered the best in their style for the whole country. I drank a bottle of 1962 Seppelt’s Chalambar about 10 years ago. It showed me just how amazing Australian wine can be. I wish I could have drunk more of those great wines.
A lot of great wine comes out of the Grampians. But for unknown reasons, it is not super popular. Maybe it is the cooler climate outlook of the wines? World-class Shiraz is made here. And more than one Cabernet has been enjoyed too. Riesling and Pinot Gris are the whites to keep your eye out for.
The glamour region of Victoria for lovers of big reds. And the core production is Shiraz and Cabernet with ‘guts’. But it is a region that offers a lot of diversity when you scratch the surface. The cooler southern parts border Macedon and make lovely aromatic wines. There is a lot of experimentation and adoption of more drought-resistant Italian varieties to great effect too.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on the oir and/or winemaker influence. The Syrah-based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.