Regions > Victoria >Western Victorian zone > Grampians region

: Seppelt Great Western


Seppelt Great Western

Moyston Rd, Great Western, 3377

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5)

Ph: (03) 5361 2239

Special tours of the facilities: Monday to Saturday; 11 am and 2 pm, Sunday - only during Victorian school holidays and public holiday weekends. $16.00 adults

Seppelt Great Western wines from the Henty region (Vic)

The Shaft House that contains the cellar door (photo:genxywines)
Tour guide, Caitlin, taking us through the 3 km of underground cellars (photo:genxywines)

Along with Best's this is the other half of the Best brothers 1860s legacy to Australian wine making. Joseph Best bought the property south of the small town of Great Western in 1865, and began planting vine cuttings the following year.

The system of tunnels that form the winery's famous 3 km of underground cellars began to be constructed in 1870, later with help of the growing legions of unemployed gold miners. Opera singer Dame Nellie Melba once famously took a bath filled with sparkling in the cellars.

After Jospeh's death, Hans Irvine owned the winery until passed into the hands of the Barossa's Seppelt family in 1918.

Display of Irvine-era posters and wines in the underground cellars (photo:genxywines)

As well as being Australia's best known maker of sparkling wines (Great Western and Mitchinbury) the Seppelt brand also has also vineyards all over the best locations in Victoria, as well as the parent company's holdings across the border in the Barossa and Padthaway.

It has a huge portfolio of table wines - notably the nearly always high calibre Drumburg Rieslings, Jaluka Chardonnays and St. Peters Shirazes (formerly known as the Great Western Hermitages).

The Seppelt company is currently owned by Fosters but the Barossa Valley facilities (and famous fortifieds) have been sold to a consortium including Kilikanoon (Clare Valley).

The cellars once stored hundreds of thousands of bottles but are now mainly display only apart from some of the old historic collections (photo:genxywines)
Caitlin showing the old riddling racks and the techniques used to make sparkling in the 19th century (photo:genxywines)
Display of the range of sparkling wine bottle sizes used by Seppelt Great Western. To give an idea of scale the bottle third from the left is the standard size. (photo:genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz 2014

Purchased: Not ($100)

Drink: 2032+

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, floral and heady black cherry, dark plums abd blueberry with asian spice, black pepper and violet notes, focussed and gamy medium-full bodied palate, persistent fine tannins and a savoury finish, well balanced and long †living style (*****)

Seppelt Great Western Riesling 2015

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2028

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, pure and focussed lemon sherbet, lime and green apple with orange blossom and brown spice notes, slaty base with tangy lemon rind acidity (****1/2)

Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($100)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2015, perfumed, supple and vibrant core of black cherry and blackberry with black pepper, asian spice and anise notes, medium-full bodied palate with a savoury game finish, very long with pliant sheets of tannin, quality spicy fine-grained oak (*****)

Seppelt Great Western Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2016 or 2025+ if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2015, occasional release from 1976 vines, floral but not intensely perfumed, lemon sherbet, lychee and lime cordial with orange blossom and spice notes, succulent and marginally off-dry, tangy lemon rind acidity (****1/2)

Seppelt Show Reserve Sparkling Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($90)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2015, super-premium expression of this Australian style, held back for extensive lees contact and only released in exceptional vintages, the most recent previous release was the 1994, bursting with bright blackberry jube, blueberry, liquorice, red fruits, pepper, cola and chocolate with developed savoury autolysis features and some charred meat aspects, fine and persistent bead, very good length and enough acid/tannin balance to last for decades but why wait that long, benchmark for the style (*****)

Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2015, compared to the Show Reserve this is much less complex but is a well balanced entry to the style, aromatic and bright raspberry, blackberry and blueberry with cola, pepper and liquorice notes, not as syrupy sweet as lesser examples, light touch of spicy oak, good persistence, the tannins and acid are well judged to balance the sweetness (****)

Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($80)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, quite tightly wound at moment, long and perfumed core of redcurrants, black cherry and blackberry with violet, sage, pepper and mint notes, deep set, supple and spicy fruit overlies the sinewy tannins, balanced with cedary oak, needs plenty of time (*****)

Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, mainly Grampians with some Bendigo input, return to a more opulent style showing foresty black cherry, dark plum and blackberry with mint, peppery spice and violet notes, long medium bodied palate with some savoury and meaty complexity, powdery texture with creamy vanilla/milk chocolate oak and vibrant citrussy acidity (****1/2)

Seppelt Grampians Riesling 2011

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2013 or 2020+ if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, first and rather limited release since 1991, this is just in the off-dry territory at 10 gms/l residual sugar, spicy lime cordial, lychee, red apple and lemon sherbert flavours with talcy phenolics and tangy passionfruit-infused acidity, viscous mid-palate, unfolds with good line and length, a welcome return (****)

Seppelt St. Peters Grampians Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2023+

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, tightly wound but expressive black cherry, blackberry and mulberry with violet, anise and musk notes, minerally, savoury and medium bodied palate with a dusty texture and sheets of fine, pliant tannins, very long with spicy French oak, long living style (*****)

Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, mixture of Grampians and Bendigo fruit, picked before the March heatwave but underwent rapid ripening, prune and plum with a touch of red cherry and eucalypt, earthy and medium bodied with some savoury meat nuances, finely grained tannins with overt creamy vanilla/cedar/dark chocolate oak, the stressed fruit does not merit the high scores others have rated this (***)

Seppelt Arrawatta Riesling 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, limited release mainly from cellar door, sourced from the Grampians and Henty, off-dry Kabinett style showing passionfruit, brown lime, melon and guava with plenty of brown spices, not very intense, offset by zesty and persistent chalky orange rind acidity (***1/2)

Seppelt Moyston Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Purchased: Not ($37)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, mix of Grampians and Bendigo fruit, traditional styled and ripe cassis and violet with dried herb and black olive notes, medium bodied with sweet cedar-chocolate oak and loose knit powdery tannins (***1/2)

Seppelt St. Peters Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, continues the trend seen in the 2005 of moving to a restrained, medium bodied style compared to the 2004, savoury blackberry, mulberry and plum, spicy with some slight smoked meat and liquorice nuances, very fine backbone of silky tannins, cedar, clove and vanilla from the quality French oak, Iím not totally convinced about the fruit clarity of this vintage for the price but Iím still getting used to the new style (****)

Seppelt Salinger Sparkling 2005

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, Trophy Winner at Sydney Wine Show 2005, floral, bready with gentle residual citrus, pear and melon, smooth and toasty palate with a savoury finish, underpinned with crisp lemon acid, good length and a fine bead (****)

Seppelt Silverband Grampians Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($37)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, medium bodied plum and blackberry with violet and dried herb notes, earthy and quite savoury palate is bit muted, fine tannins with the oak staying in the background (***1/2)

Seppelt St. Peters Shriraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2006, classic expression of the best of old Australian Hermitage traditions, the nose is dense but still quite closed with sour blackberry, pepper and liquorice features, the palate is very deep and well defined blackberry, black cherry and plum with some sour edges, smooth with tight cedar/vanilla oak and a lingering liquorice finish, criminal to drink now, it needs ages to open up, if it true to the form of the old Great Western Hermitages (its old name) it should be drinking at it best in 15 years (*****)

Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 2003

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2006, sourced from Grampians and Bendigo vineyards, deep inky colour, lush plum, blackberry, chocolate and liquorice flavours, deep savoury and herbal palate, perfectly integrated cedar/vanilla oak, fine grained but slightly drying tannins (****)

Seppelt Great Western Hermitage 1985

Purchased: Norwood Hotel bottleshop, Adelaide

Drink: 2002

(GXY) Tasting: May 2002, good inky colour with some slight red bricking which is not surprising for its age, well balanced and integrated with surprisingly good acid and medium weight, palate shows sweet dark plum and blackberry fruits on the uptake with a touch of leather and liquorice on the finish, soft velvety consistency with lots of complex savoury notes, well developed complexity and rounded tannins (*****)