Tag: Hunter Valley semillon

Mar 03 2016

Why you should take another look at Hunter Valley Semillon!

Posted on March 03, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

British wine critic Jancis Robinson calls Hunter Valley semillon “one of the unsung heroes of white wine production.”

I’ve always wondered why semillon isn’t more popular with wine lovers? After all, it can be enjoyed young, but it also evolves beautifully over time and can be cellared for 20 years or more. And because semillon is an early ripening variety the flavours are fully ripe at relatively low sugar levels, leading to a dry white wine with plenty of acid and low alcohol levels (around 11% versus chardonnay at 13.5%).

When young, semillon is pale in colour and typically fresh and tangy with lots of citrus notes, making it a perfect accompaniment to a meal of fresh oysters and grilled white-fleshed fish! Yum! As it ages the colour deepens and the palate becomes softer and richer, although it’s never as full-bodied as aged chardonnay.

In wine critic Huon Hooke’s opinion, “Hunter semillon is, like Mosel riesling, one of those whites that prove that length – or persistence – of flavour does not depend on a certain level of alcohol. Even 10% alcohol Hunter semillons, such as the legendary 1994 Mount Pleasant Museum Elizabeth, have plenty of extract and length.” (Hunter Valley Semillon, Huon Hooke. com)

Tyrrell's Vat1 SemillonThe Hunter was the first place in the world to use only semillon to make a high quality, light, dry white wine. Tyrrell’s, the fifth generation family owned winery, started making semillon in the 1860s and has been bottling its flagship Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Hunter Semillon since 1963.

Winemakers were quick to realise that semillon does well when planted on the Hunter’s sandy soils, especially the ancient river beds that run through the Hermitage Road/Causarina area where Tyrrell’s and the other famous semillon vineyards are sited.

The legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea put McWilliam’s … Read the rest

Oct 10 2010

Wine of the Week: McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Wine of the Week profiles a wine that has recently been making news!

In Monday’s post, The Hunter Valley: Worth a Closer Look!, I talked about how The Hunter Valley has a long established reputation for making semillon in a style that is unique to Australia. Well, the last few weeks have proven big in the recognition stakes for Hunter Valley semillon, and especially for McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005, rrp $65.

On Monday night, the Tempus Two Copper Zenith Semillon (Hunter Valley) 2003 rrp $55 was named 2010 NSW Wine of the Year. A few weeks ago McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005 picked up the trophies for Best White Wine of Show and Best Other White at the Tri Nations Wine Challenge, an invitation-only show contested by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. (See Huon Hooke’s interesting article on the competition, of which he was also one of the judges, Matches made in heaven, Sydney Morning Herald 28 September 2010)

The Lovedale Semillon 2005 has also just been awarded the Principal Trophy for Single Estate White Wine at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London.

Both of these highly regarded wine shows set  international benchmarks for quality. Wines in the IWSC, for example, are blind-tasted by a specialist international judging panel and then a detailed technical (chemical and microbiological) analysis of the wine is made before any of the medal or trophy winners are announced.

Here’s what the IWCA judges had to say about the Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2005: “Watery pale lemon green colour. Light yet piercing aromas, florals, citrus and melon. The initial taste is almost tart yet dances on your tongue. Light bodied, insanely intense with a rock fall of minerality giving so much to the … Read the rest