This one has a pretty interesting story – apparently a batch that was meant to be exported to the UK never left the country. Maybe someone on their end cancelled their order, but I suppose someone on this side suddenly found themselves burdened with a lot of wine they weren’t expecting to have on hand. Maybe someone made a few phone calls, offers were made, ultimately translating to an offer that I (and countless others) could not refuse.
This is one of the few exciting things that can happen once you become at ease with wine – the feeling of getting a good bargain will appeal to most people. I’m not even particularly a huge fan of Semillon, preferring a nice Riesling instead, but I respect the style enough to know what to expect and am happy to stock up.
Flavor Intensity: Medium
Quality: Very Good
Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
Identity: Australia / Hunter Valley / Semillon
Price: Inexpensive (~$9, usually $20-$30)
Long, thick tears
Aromas of toast, honey, lemon and lime
Flavours of toast, honey, lemon, lime and lemon pithe
Mildly zesty on the tongue
Clean, fresh acidity
Now is a good time to drink, can age if so inclined, but now is suited to my tastes.
Food match – anything mild-mid spicy
Hunter Valley Semillon seems to get lost easily amidst the huge number of mainstream offerings from around the world, but look around and you will find a small community of enthusiasts that can’t stop praising the style. It’s something unique to the region, and disarmingly close to where I am, just a two-hour drive away.
Even though Semillon isn’t my most preferred white varietal, I do have sentimental reasons for appreciating this wine – the 2012 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon effectively became my “gateway wine”, the one experience that opened my eyes to a whole world of wine and food.
I was at a Szechuan restaurant at the time, having a nice dinner with a group of co-workers. The Semillon by itself seemed tart and sour. Then I got into some very spicy food, and reached for anything to quench the heat. The wineglass found it’s way into my hands and, well, I saw a light.
I wouldn’t bother trying to replicate the experience – sometimes it just takes the right place, the right time, the right company and the right wine. But it’s important to practice constant awareness, ready to capture the moment when it comes and not be distracted. It’s a little embarrassing to use such terms, but maybe I experienced a glimpse of “satori” back then, a sudden sense of comprehension.
At this price, and for such a nicely-developing example, I was comfortable sharing with friends, eating with pizza, or just appreciating it for what it is.
PS – Not sure what your “gateway wine” could be? A Personal Wine Consultation will set your mind at ease.
Read more: A Rational Approach To Wine Tasting