Sevenhill was established in 1851 when the Jesuits who settled in the area planted vines to produce sacramental wine. From these modest beginnings, the Jesuits' focus on wine has remained, with Sevenhill adding to its sacramental wine production with an extensive range of table wines that are highly regarded throughout Australia and overseas.
"Topaque is the new name for the variety formerly known as Tokay in Australia that was named after the wines of the north-eastern corner of Hungary, a region known as Tokaj-Hegyalja. The wines in this area are intensely flavoured, sweet wines made from Furmint, a variety not planted in Australia. In Hungary, the Furmint grapes are allowed to hang on the vine until they begin to dehydrate and develop high levels of sugar. The wines produced from these grapes are rare and highly prized. In early Australian winemaking, attempts were made to replicate them using the variety Muscadelle. Following many years of aging in cask, a unique Australian style emerged and was referred to as Liqueur Tokay. Now that Australia is moving away from using borrowed names, such as Champagne and Chablis, and developing new names to describe our wines, it has been agreed that Topaque will be used to define our unique wine style.
At Sevenhill, Muscadelle grapes are left to hang on the vine until late Autumn, when they develop high levels of sweetness, which are enhanced by some dehydration. The grapes are harvested, crushed and gently macerated on the skins, allowing more sugar and flavour to be leached from the raisined fruit. The wine is fermented to a desirable level, then halted by the addition of fortifying spirit. This leaves a level of natural sugar in the young wine that will act as a natural preservative, slowly changing and maturing over its lifetime in barrel. Classic Topaque is blended from a number of base wines that have been aged in barrel for many years, ranging from 5 to 40 years. This gives the final wine some freshness and the complexity of age.
Amber and golden colour with the merest hint of a green hue, this wine offers aromas of malt, exotic spices and nut-brown butter. The palate is decadently luscious with a truly lingering flavour of fruit cake and the finish shows a waft of smokiness."