Thursday, November 25, 2010

Semillon from all over

In a routine Wine Companion tasting the other day (for the 2012 Edition) there were five very good semillons, falling in the 91 to 94 point range. Nothing unusual in that, I suppose, but none were from the Hunter Valley. Instead they came from the Barossa Valley, the Shoalhaven Coast, and Margaret River. Alcohol levels ranged between 11% to 12.1% for all but one wine, a 2009 Margaret River Semillon (Fermoy Estate) at 13.5%. It happened to be one of the best wines in the tasting, which may be the exception to prove the rule. The rule? It is increasingly obvious that the best semillons have an alcohol content of around 10% to a maximum of around 12%, Hunter Valley wines typically in the bottom half of that narrow range, others in the top half of the range. Moreover, oak is at best subtle, usually absent.

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