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Thursday 16 June 2022

The more the meunier for Seppelt

Pinot Meunier is a red grape variety that is probably best known for its role in Champagne blends alongside pinot noir and chardonnay.

Also known as meunier or schwarzriesling, the grape is rarely seen as a stand-alone table wine variety - but a 2021 Drumborg Pinot Meunier is one of the starts of the newly-released 2022 Seppelt Luxury Collection.

Pinot Meunier comprises approximately one-third of all the grapes planted in Champagne but is fairly unusual in Australia.

When well made, as in the case of the 2021 Seppelt Pinot Meunier, it offers a lighter-style red that can be compared to gamay (the grape used in Beaujolais), and cool-climate pinot noirs.

At $36, the new Seppelt release offers a lot of bright refreshment and could probably be lightly chilled on a warmer day.

It is luscious with red fruits to the fore and has lovely balance at 13.5% ABV and has a delicate, subtle structure. 

It was the definite star for me alongside the very impressive lean and pure 2021 Drumborg Chardonnay ($40). The other Drumborg wines were a 2022 Riesling ($40) that needs time to settle, and a 2021 Pinot Noir ($45).

This year’s Collection comprises eight wines sourced from across Victoria’s Grampians, Heathcote and Henty regions.

All the wines have been crafted by senior winemaker Clare Dry, who joined Seppelt in 2020.

“Many of the wines were crafted in my first vintage at the helm of Seppelt and I’m thrilled to showcase my winemaking approach, building on over 170 years of heritage behind the label,” Dry says.

The Collection is led by the 2020 St Peters Grampians Shiraz, sourced from the Great Western Vineyard.

The four wines I tried are from the Drumborg Vineyard, one of the southernmost vineyards in mainland Australia.

“Each of the wines from this year’s Collection has a story to tell, from the elegance of St Peters to the ethereal Drumborg reds," says Dry. "The release is a showcase of our vineyards, viticulture and winemaking.

“The Drumborg wines in particular were a thrill to make, courtesy of a sensational vintage in 2021. Fruit was picked at optimum conditions, delivering parcels that were incredibly flavoursome, balanced and pure. The chardonnay is a real pride point as I’ve reworked the style significantly, creating a delicate wine which I believe captures the purity and intensity of the Drumborg site.”

The release also includes the 2021 Chalambar Grampians & Heathcote Shiraz and 2021 Jaluka Henty Chardonnay, along with the 2017 release of Salinger Vintage Cuvée.

The 2022 Seppelt Luxury Collection is available from

# Founded in 1851, Seppelt was a pioneer of sparkling wine in Australia in the 1890s and helped pave the way for cool-climate styles in Australia.

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