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Seppeltsfield Rare Muscat (375ml)
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- ABV 17%
- Closure: Cork
Several months ago we reviewed the outstanding new Seppeltsfield 'Grand' fortifieds from Rutherglen. With the release of their 'Rare' Fortifieds, Seppeltsfield are now clearly in league alongside the greatest exponents of these uniquely Australian wines. But what's the difference you might ask? Several years ago, a voluntary classification of Rutherglen Muscats and Tokays was implemented. Each wine is classified in ascending order of quality with the average age stipulations for each descriptor graded as follows: for 'Rutherglen', two to five years old; for 'Classic', five to 12 years old; for 'Grand', 12 to 20 years old, and for 'Rare', 20 years or more. Naturally, there's an enormous difference in the concentration and complexity of wines distinguished by these grades - not to mention price.
When compared with first growth Sauternes or a Pedro Ximenez Sherry of similar age, purchasing a bottle or two of these amazing fortifieds will seem less like blatant hedonism and more like carefully considered insurance against the chance of an extended winter. As with the Rare Tokay, this Muscat Solera was started in 1983, however, due to the greater popularity of Muscat than Tokay, this wine, although still wonderful, is slightly less concentrated than the original Seppelt Rare release.
Semi translucent sienna brown colour with olive green edge and olive sienna hue. The wine is rich and luscious and clings early to the glass. Top note of raisin followed by toffee, honey and caramel, over a dried raisin background. The palate is luscious – with flavours of raisin, spice, caramel and honey. Fine perfectly balanced old brandy spirit. The shortfall is that the palate is a little less intense than the Rare Tokay – a very minor criticism, vindicated by the wine's stunning show record of 9 Trophies and 35 Gold Medals in Australian Wine Shows since 1990.