Thursday, October 20, 2011

Swirl Sniff Spit - Session 7 - Semillon Round-Up

Swirl, Sniff, Spit's  Semillon tasting  sought to demonstrate the diversity of styles that can be found with the Semillon grape.  Brief tasting notes that follow represent the range of wines shown on the night.

Bracket 1 - Sparkling
Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley, NV
Ripe, citrus fresh, easy going ability to drink now.  Good aromatics, with some tang.  A quaffer - get it down you.

St Agouant, 1999 'Blanc des Blancs'
Over ten years on lees gives the wine smooth and creamy texture and mouthfeel,  Balanced with good acid structure and fine aroma.

Bracket 2 - Young Semillon
Murray Street Vineyards Semillon 2010
Excellent value for $20.  Showing some developmental attributes, but this was all about fresh citrus and lemon curd on the night.  Wanted a plate of calamari to accompany this.  Suspect it has some life ahead of it too.

Scarborough Wine Green Label
Good value too.  Made more in a 'savvy' style, exhibiting youthful and fresh attributes.  Hebaceous, grassy and a hint of lime.  Crisp 'n' crunchy too.

Bracket 3 - South Burnet, QLD
Barambah First Grid 2008
Offered to Swirl, Sniff, Spit on the understanding that it was in the 'hole' and needed some further developmental time to show its best.  A slight slatey note with some pickle characters and asparagus.  

Clovely Estate Left Field Semillon 2006
Showing lovely toasty and age characters as befits the age.  Good length and honeyed notes.  Top drawer and a perfect segue to Bracket 4.

Bracket 4 - Aged Semillon
Meerea Park Alexander Munro 2005
Layered, complex.  Still showing citrus toward the back end and a creaminess through the middle.  Plenty in reserve: you think the wine is done when it kicks into 2nd gear.  Had me in raptures on the night.  Table wine of the night for me.

Peter Lehmann Margaret 2005
More bling than a rude boy rap artist this wine.  Classic Barossa warmer climate profile.  Still showing some texture and fruit in its profile.  Classy and elegant.

Bracket 5 - Off-Dry and Barrel Ferment
Thomas Wines 6 Degrees Semillon
Enticingly aromatic and shows its good dose of extra sugar in an approachable way.  Nice shape approaching its conclusion.  Reminiscent of crushed 'love hearts' for those familiar with those sweets/ lollies.

Juniper Estate Semillon 2008
Barrel fermentation provides interesting aromatics and a touch of funk from some indigenous yeasts.  Toasty, a touch of herb.  The palate comes across a bit flinty, with a hint of mineral.  More than one comment on the night that there were some similarities to Chardonnay.

Bracket 6 - Stickie & Sweeties
Punt Road Venda 2010 Botrytis Semillon
Honeyed aromas, delicate citrus and mandarin.  Lovely unctuous texture in the mouth. Where's the cheese?

De Bortoli Black Noble
Basically Noble One from a Solera.  A barrique of Noble One is held back each year and added into the Solera.  Started out in 1979, average age of 18 years.  Since 2003 has been 100% Semillon (prior to that some PX was included).  Caramelised toffee, raisins, coffe, chocolate.  Need I say more?  I don't do Xmas pud - this will be my liquid substitute this year.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Session 7 - Semillon

Hunter Valley Semillon has been described as Australia's gift to the world.  Like many grape varieties it originates in France, specifically in the Bordeaux region where it is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc to make Bordeaux Blanc whites, or made into sweet botrytis affected styles as with Sauternes-Barsac.

Within Australia, there are three principal regions where Semillon is grown and made into wines of renown: Margaret River (WA), Barossa Valley (SA), and Hunter Valley (NSW).

This #SwirlSniffSpit tasting, as ever, has brought together a tasting encompassing Semillon in a broad variety of styles, demonstrating its versatility, and showing why it should be in your fridge this summer.

Bracket 1 - Sparkling
Bimbadgen Estate NV Sparkling, Hunter Valley @bimbadgen
St Agouant 1999 Brut Blanc de Blanc, Bordeaux @TheTruffleManOz

Bracket 2 - Young Semillon
Scarborough Wine Green Label Semillon 2011, Hunter Valley @ScarboroughWine
Murray Street Vineyards Semillon 2010, Barossa Valley @MSVWine

Bracket 3 - South Burnet, Queensland
Clovely Estate Left Field Semillon 2010 @ClovelyWine
Barambah Estate Semillon 2008 @BarambahWines

Bracket 4 - Aged Semillon
Meerea Park 2005 Alexander Munro Semillon, Hunter Valley @MeereaPark 
Peter Lehmann Wines Margaret Semillon 2005, Barossa Valley @PLWines

Bracket 5 - Off-Dry & Barrel Fermented
Thomas Wines 6 Degrees Semillon 2010, Hunter Valley @ThomasWines
Juniper Estate Semillon 2009, Margaret River

Bracket 6 - Dessert Wines
De Bortoli Wines Black Noble @DeBortoliWines
Punt Road Botrytis Semillon 2010, Yarra Valley @PuntRdWines

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