Semillon

Sémillon

Sémillon is the great white grape of sweet white bordeaux, and widely undervalued. As well as making the world's greatest sweet wines, it is responsible for Bordeaux's greatest dry whites, and Australia's most distinctive table wine, Hunter Valley Semillon. Semillon is Bordeaux’s most planted white grape variety, although the area devoted to its traditional blending partner there, Sauvignon Blanc, has been increasing. Semillon is the grape primarily responsible for Sauternes, arguably the world's longest-living white wine, and it is sanctioned in most of the dry or sweet white wine appellations, of South West France. It blends well with Sauvignon (traditionally four to one in Sauternes) because it lacks positive aroma (apart from the vaguely citrus, lanolin and beeswax of a young wine and the burnt toast of a mature Hunter) but makes up for Sauvignon's lack of body. If Semillon is picked before it reaches full ripeness it can almost taste like Sauvignon. Semillon's thin skins make it prone to rot which makes it an ideal producer of botrytized sweet wines, not just Bordeaux and Monbazillac, but also in New South Wales and California. The wine can respond well to wood ageing, as in the great dry whites of Graves and Pessac-Léognan in Bordeaux.

Semillon is planted in virtually all of the world's wine regions but for the moment little is made of it, however fine some of the wine made from South Africa's older Semillon vines. Australia perhaps has taken the most positive line on constructing ageworthy varietals out of it, notably in the Hunter Valley.

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1 to 10 of 17 Total

  1. Just Nuisance Chenin Blanc Semillon

    Apples and limes abound, gloriously drinkable, unpretentious wine. Learn More

    £7.95
  2. The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana SB, d'Arenberg

    A heady mix of complexity and decadence, with citrus blossom, fresh grass and marmalade mixing with ripe tropical fruits. Learn More

    £11.95
  3. Sauvignon Semillon, MadFish

    Aromas of guava, pear and lemon zest. Learn More

    £11.95
  4. Monbazillac, Château La Sabatière

    Richly honeyed with complex notes of dried fruits, nuts and caramel with a heady orange blossom bouquet. Learn More

    £13.50
  5. Man O' War Gravestone Sauvignon Semillon

    Intense aromatics of guava, gooseberry, nettles and black currants dominate with undertones of lychee and chalk dust. The palate is fresh and vibrant with high natural acidity balanced by weight, texture and a long persistent finish.

    Learn More

    £19.50
  6. Chateau Bonnet Entre-deux-mers

    Aromatic and floral with intense pink grapefruit overtones; rounded and vivacious. Learn More

    £12.50
  7. Vignoble Dubard Château Laulerie Moelleux , Côtes de Montravel

    Pale gold with barley sugar and orange blossom and a sweet, creamy palate. Learn More

    £10.50
  8. Graves Blanc, Château des Gravières, Graves

    50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Elegant with notes of peach and lime. Learn More

    £11.95
  9. Clos Dady, Sauternes (37.5cl)

    Luscious and generous with its sweet apricot, honey, roasted nut and marmalade flavours. Learn More

    £14.95
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