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WINE: 23 OCTOBER 2014

By JOHN ROZENTALS

Drumborg's windy isolation paves the way for some of our greatest wines

If Coonawarra, just north of Mount Gambier in South Australia’s extreme south-east, is one of Australia’s most remote vineyard areas, then so too must be Henty, just across the border on Victoria’s most westerly coastline, where the wind pounds off Antarctica even before you start that wonderful journey along the Great Ocean Road.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 50 years since the area was pioneered as a grape-growing district, when Karl Seppelt showed some amazing foresight and planted riesling in 1964 on what was to become Seppelt Drumborg Vineyard.

There were plenty, no doubt the bean counters among them, who thought it was an insane action — planting vines in a forlorn, windswept location with barely enough warmth in some years to adequately ripen grapes.

He knew that there would be years when his experiment would fail, but he was equally convinced that there would be years when the new vineyard would produce some amazingly fine wines — and he was quite right on both counts.

These days, Adam Carnaby has the winemaking challenge of getting the best out of the fruit he receives from Drumborg and it’s a challenge he relishes.

He reckons that the latest Drumborg releases epitomise the quality that can come from the district’s climatic vagaries — whether it be from the cooler-than-normal, low-yielding 2014 vintage, or from 2013, when the vines revelled in the warmth and sunshine of one of area’s driest vintages.

Some wines are for quaffing. These wines are for mulling over and should provoke some serious discussion. They are that good.

Adam Carnaby ... has the winemaking challenge of getting the best out of the fruit he receives from Drumborg.

DETAILS

Visit www.seppelt.com.au.

REVIEWS

Seppelt 2014 Drumborg Riesling

Seppelt 2013 Drumborg Chardonnay