Being a glass-half-full sort of a wine critic, I’m always delighted to see an expected performer perform well. Just like Australia needs Steve Smith to step up to the mark virtually every time he wanders into a green paddock with a bat in his hand, I need Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz to deliver with each and every vintage. Big time.
For this is perhaps the wine I find myself recommending the most to people who want consistent, exceptional value in everyday Australian red wine; a medium-bodied shiraz laced with pepper and exotic spice that delivers its deep layers of flavour over a typically fine-grained, occasionally slatey backbone of fine tannins, before finishing with unusual softness and savoury quality for what has always been rather an inexpensive Australian red wine without the least pretension.
From a cooler and genuinely challenging season in central and western Victoria, the 2017 Chalambar effortlessly marries the spice and perfume of Grampians shiraz with the slightly denser, darker and more ferrous fruit profile of Heathcote fruit, delivering a truly charming mid-weight shiraz of shape and focus. It’s ready to enjoy right now – after half an hour in a decanter especially – and will develop plenty more roundness and character over the coming decade and more.
At a nominated price of $27 per bottle – and doubtless it might be cheaper every now and then – the Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 2017 brings a smile to my face for so many reasons. Yours might be next.