Wine review — Seppeltsfield, Wicks Estate and Tscharke

Seppeltsfield Eden Valley Riesling 2012 $19.80–$22
After a couple of changes of ownership in recent years, Barossa’s historic Seppeltsfield belongs to four investors, led by winemaker and managing director, Warren Randall. Under an arrangement with former owner, Foster’s (now Treasury Wine Estates), Randall’s group can sell Seppeltsfield table wines only through the cellar door and mail order. However, it distributes the unique and superb Seppeltsfield fortified wines throughout and Australia. And Treasury continues to use the Seppelt brand for table and sparkling wines. Seppeltsfield riesling, under its beautiful retro label, provides the full flavoured delicacy of a great Eden Valley vintage. (Available at

Wicks Estate Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2012 $16.15–$20
In 1999, property developers Tim and Simon Wicks bought a 54-hectare property at Woodside, Adelaide Hills. They planted a 40-hectare vineyard and, in 2004, built a winery large enough to process the vineyard’s considerable grape output. The wines, made by Tim Knappstein, Leigh Ratzmer and Chris Parsons, have been outstanding at the price. On a recent visit to the winery, the 2012 shiraz appealed strongly. It’s of a similar quality and style to the gold-medal-winning 2010 vintage (there was no 2011), offering lovely fragrance, vibrant, ripe-berry and spicy flavours and silky soft tannins.

Tscharke Girl Talk Barossa Valley Savagnin 2012
As cooler areas inexorably dominate production of the crisp, zesty white styles demanded by consumers, some winemakers in warmer areas like the Barossa seek white varieties that make appealing wine in these warm, dry conditions. Damien Tscharke pioneered the Spanish variety, albarino, only to find it was savagnin. Whatever it’s called, though, the variety produces a soft, juicy and smooth textured dry white with a pleasant savouriness setting it apart from, say, sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. For the first time in the very good 2012 vintage, Tscharke fermented a small proportion of the wine in older oak – boosting the wine’s texture.

Copyright Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 11 August 2013 in the Canberra Times