On tasting someone’s cellar I got to try some older semillon, which doesn’t occur so often as my white wine collection is tiny compared to the reds, and let alone aged in my cellar. Many underestimate the value of semillon in winemaking but it has it’s place, and semillon from Bordeaux and Sauternes in France is seen as the highest end of these wines with a very dear price for a single half bottle. Ranging from dessert to sweeter style table wine, to dry and minerally, it’s a great wine for those getting into more elegant style white wines as it doesn’t have pungent overpowering type characters.
Typically here we produce good semillon from the Hunter valley (such as Tyrrell’s – with their Vat 1 being one of the top collected semillon in Australia), Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Margaret river. The old semillon I got to try was Rockford Local Growers Semillon, Barossa Valley 1998 and 1999 vintages – This should have actually been drunk earlier but there were still some bottles that showed up decent. I preferred the 1999: Deep, golden lemon colour; attractive buttercup and almond on the nose and still with a freshness to it; on tasting palate was prominent buttercup still with vibrant lemon acidity, balanced with some weight described as a bit oily (in a good way), and overall good mouthfeel. Rrp about $20-25. Bargain!
Semillon is perfect on a summer day with fresh oysters – to smoked salmon or caviar (and gourmet seafood dishes i.e. seafood bisque, clam chowder) with the older wines – or cheese (such as blue, creamy or goats cheese) with the dessert wines (aka ‘stickies’) which of course also go with any desserts. Ideally a good semillon should be drunk under 10 years of age in Australia (and up to 20 years with Tyrrell’s Vat 1 for example) but tasting these older wines still showed me what it can offer… Looking forward to trying more aged semillon… Cheers!