Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some notes on Sémillon, our gift to the world

Hunter Valley Sémillon is described by international wine experts as “Australia’s wine gift to world” – it is the highest quality, purest expression of dry white Sémillon wine produced anywhere on the globe.

I was first introduced properly to Sémillon by my best friend Katherine Partridge at the Hunter Valley 'Sémillon  and Seafood' luncheon/wine tasting festival. Kat worked at Brokenwood at the time which is well known for its Sémillon. It was actually an intimate event with only about 100 people or so at Tyrell's Winery. There were stalls from local wineries showcasing Sémillon from their vineyards as well as local gourmet food stalls serving all sorts of lovely seafood from Newcastle and Port Macquarie. We ended up at the Irish Pub down the road for a crazy night of dancing and table games and toe tapping and beer throwing... So, I pair Sémillon with many good memories.

Sémillon is a French word that originates from the Old Provençal semilhar, which means "to sow," which itself comes from the Latin semen, which means "seed"— stop giggling!

The purity of dry white Hunter Sémillon is due to its zesty, bright and positive lemon / lime aromas and flavors, with hints of honey and mineral, and its delicate racy acidity onto the finish.
The greatness of Hunter Sémillon comes from its unique capacity to age. Hunter Sémillon retains its zesty youthful fruit for many years, also complexing with biscuity, malty, honey and toast richness as it matures.
Sémillon is also the key to producing the most expensive sweet dessert wines in the world, from Sauternes and Barsac in France. The Hunter Valley also produces excellent Botrytis Sémillon dessert wines and these too are regarded as world-class. In this instance the grapes are left to ripen & develop on the vine until lusciously sweet. This Sémillon richness is further super-concentrated with Botrytis Cinerea, or “Noble Rot”, which develops on the berries prior to harvest.
Dry white Hunter Sémillon marries with a wide variety of seafood dishes. Zesty young Hunter Sémillon is a perfect match with the salty tang and creamy freshness of oysters, and also with the array of finer white fish, such as Snapper, John Dory and Whiting. Mature Hunter Sémillon is ideal with stronger flavored fish, such as Atlantic Salmon, as well as richer crayfish or crab dishes.

Botrytis Sémillon is always wonderful with desserts & blue cheeses & lovely choose and wine loving friends.

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