WHEN does a fine wine become fine art?
South Australian winery Seppeltsfield has answered the question by stepping into the world of high culture and design with its latest blend of Barossan fortified.
The winery has partnered with luxury French crystal house Lalique to release a rare 100-year blend of tawny “port” in an exclusively crafted decanter to go on sale this week for $10,000.
Only 150 of the pieces have been made worldwide, to be unveiled Wednesday and Thursday in $150 a head tasting events in Melbourne and Sydney.
The association with Lalique puts Seppeltsfield in the same realm as global luxury brands such as Bentley, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hardy Cognac and Macallan, all of which have chosen the French fine crystal maker to collaborate in bespoke releases.
Founded in 1888 by Rene Lalique, regarded as a leading Art Nouveau and Art Deco artist and by many as the creator of modern jewellery design, Lalique is famed for its artisan craftsmanship and distinctive clear and frosted finish glassware.
The Seppeltsfield Decanter design reflects the iconic palm trees surrounding the western Barossa estate, as well as reflecting the winery’s famous tear-shaped Para Liqueur bottle of the 1950s.
The crystal decanter is housed in a case designed by Barossa craftsman Andrew Pywell who has reworked 300 year old Jarrah timbers previously used in wine spirit vats into decahedron-shaped boxes.
In this package, a typical 30ml sip of the fortified wine will set you back a cool $400.
The wine adds to Seppeltsfield’s portfolio of celebrated 100 year old vintage specific tawnies, the name we now use instead of “Port”, with a rare blended fortified wine stretching over 12 different vintages between 1886 and 1970 assembled by winemaker Fiona Donald and managing director Warren Randall.
“We wanted something that showed the sheer age capability of Seppeltsfield’s Tawny parcels,” Mr Randall said.
The wine is considered to be the first 100 year old average aged Tawny Port of its type in the world.
The history and craftsmanship of Seppeltsfield attracted Lalique chairman Silvio Denz to the partnership.
“Seppeltsfield has heart and soul,” Mr Denz said.
“(The decanter) carries with it the symbolism of our two great histories,” he said.
The decanter will be launched at Circa The Prince in St Kilda on Wednesday and The Stables at Randwick Race Course on Thursday in $150 per head events which include tastings of the rare blend as well as every World War 1 vintage of the famed 100 Year Old Para Liqueur.
Several already have been sold to international wine collectors and Lalique design followers. The decanter is for sale through Seppeltsfield via email@example.com.
Watch the decanter being made: https://vimeo.com/126891746