Sevenhill was established in the Clare Valley 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.
"Sevenhill Fine Old Tawny is grown on old vines on the Sevenhill estate, with viticultural practices having a significant role in shaping the wine’s character. Grenache, Touriga and Shiraz varieties are allowed to ripen to around 16 Baume before being harvested. The yield from each vine is very low as a result of pruning to achieve minimal bunches of concentrated flavour. The yield is further reduced by the gradual raisining of the berries as they ripen all the way into late autumn.
Each variety is managed separately and fermented on skins in the same way as making a red wine. However, before the must reaches dryness, an addition of fortifying spirit is made to arrest the fermentation. This effectively keeps the natural grape sugars (glucose and fructose) in the wine. Old and larger oak barrels (500-2000 litre) are filled with the young wine and held for many years. The aim of this Tawny is to present the taster with a wine showing attractive aged characters, as though it may have been in the cellar for many years.
Each year, the winemaker creates a blend. Individual barrels are assessed and wines of varying vintages are combined to create a final wine of character. In some instances, an old wine will be topped with a younger wine, creating a blend component that will live for many years and will contain a small amount of the oldest wine. At Sevenhill, we have been making tawny port for over 150 years. It is quite possible that each bottle contains a few molecules of the very first wine made at Sevenhill.
90/100 James Halliday, Wine Companion
"Tawny, reddish brown in colour, there are spicy raisin fruit aromas underpinned by clean aged characters of roasted nuts. The palate is rich and mouth-filling, initially with flavours of red fruits, smoke and old wood. The palate is long with a satisfying dryness to the finish".