Paralian is the new adventure from renowned husband-and-wife winemaking team, Charlie Seppelt and Skye Salter. With a collective 46 vintages between them, the time was right for the pair to make their own wines. Paralian is the result.
Fruit for this inaugural vintage all comes from the famed sandy soils of the Blewitt Springs sub-region of McLaren Vale. In 2018, they produced a Grenache, a Shiraz, and a blend of the two. It's a testament to their winemaking prowess that their first vintage received 96s from Halliday across the board, as well as high scores from both Gary Walsh and James Suckling.
These are brilliant wines, and if this first vintage is anything to go by, we are going to be hearing about, drinking, and enjoying wines from Paralian for many years to come.
'A Grenache Shiraz blend comprising 52% Marmont Vineyard Grenache, 48% Springs Hill Vineyard Shiraz.
'A blend that is quintessentially McLaren Vale, an homage to past employers who have proudly championed blends of Grenache and Shiraz for decades.
'Both varieties were made separately and come blending for this wine we were looking for a wine that offered generosity, freshness of the varieties but also a drive of subtle tannin; a natural life line of preservation.'
Charlie Seppelt, Winemaker
Generous darker fruit profile, satsuma plum flesh, baking spices and blue fruits. A taught fine palate, Grenache leads off with silken texture and the Shiraz component closing with a richness of fruit weight offering generosity and comfort.
"Husband and wife Charlie Seppelt and Skye Salter had accumulated 46 vintages between them, working for others, before they took the plunge last year and established Paralian Wines. Their credo appears on the side of each bottle: “The wines we make – each bottle [is] filled with the passion of discovery. To find the feeling of this is exactly where you’re meant to be. Where you observe the little [things]. And it makes you full. That feeling of home. We found ours, and it’s by the sea.”
The word Paralian is not a phonetic play on “Australian”: in Greek it refers to people who live by the sea, the idea synthesised over a long night’s consumption of white Burgundy. The pieces begin to gel as you find the couple’s past, present and future is the Blewitt Springs district of South Australia’s McLaren Vale, the beach a hop, step and a jump away. The striking label design is an abstract rendition of the remnants of an old jetty at Port Willunga; Charlie and Skye (along with countless locals) also treasure Doug Govan’s Victory Hotel, overlooking Sellicks Beach, and the Star of Greece restaurant atop the Port Willunga cliffs.
Charlie’s first exposure to McLaren Vale was as a vintage casual at d’Arenberg. “I was first to arrive and last to leave. I did everything and it got me hooked,” he recalls. He and Skye left the Vale for a vintage in Burgundy, and she also worked briefly in Languedoc, which proved as unrewarding as Burgundy was inspirational.
Returning home to McLaren Vale, they were joined at the hip in their love of Blewitt Springs, the coolest part of the region. It’s a love held by many, hence the demand for the two key varieties, grenache and shiraz. Whether you buy a vineyard or just grapes, you need to be very patient and have large pockets. Being a local helps – their contract for grenache is a handshake."
James Halliday - The Australian
JAMES HALLIDAY - THE AUSTRALIAN
A 52/48% blend separately vinified and matured. The bouquet and palate both make an immediate impact with juicy layers of plum and blackberry fruit and a soft cushion of tannins to close. The balance and structure are the DNA of McLaren Vale red wine.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
52% Marmont Vineyard Grenache, 48% Springs Hill Vineyard Shiraz. Tightly packed, reticent, almost what you might call ‘sullen’ at present. Black and red fruits, liquorice, dried herb and smoky notes. It’s medium-bodied, dark fresh berries and dried herb with a toasty flavour, crisp acidity, firm dense tannin, and slightly charry finish of freshness and length. Will be very good given a few years grace.