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Let’s be honest, the coronavirus has upended our lives and kept us at home, without any hint of long haul travels in the near future. It’s frustrating, really, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take our tastebuds on a mini-vacation, though virtually.
In my first virtual wine tasting with Destination New South Wales, I found out that it’s a fun way of reconnecting and discovering new wines, like Sémillons in the Hunter Valley region.
Only two hours drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley region first thrived in the 1820s with its magnificent natural beauty.
The Hunter Valley's warm but humid climate is ideal for the variety coupled with the Hunter Valley pioneers choice to pick early means other varieties aren't required to boost aromatics and acidity.
In saying that, producers have trialled blending in the past with chardonnay and verdelho but the Hunter Valley was quick to recognise their regionality and unique place within the market and has separated themselves by uniting and offering styles iconic to the region.
In the virtual masterclass, Australian wine writer Angus Hughson shared that by chilling young Sémillon wines in the fridge, you give it that crispness and freshness that’s best enjoyed thoroughly. What gives Sémillons its unique features are the zesty citrus, lime and lemon notes.
Shanteh Wong, a sommelier at Sydney’s Quay Restaurant, finds that young Sémillon are best paired with fresh seafood, oysters, and shellfish, while bottle-aged Sémillon goes well with fish tacos, fried chicken, smoked eel and roast chicken on the BBQ, as it has the acidity to ‘clean’ up richness on the palate.
To best retain the Sémillon wines’ best drinking point, you can keep the wines in the fridge for up to three days.
Recommended Sémillon wines: Tyrell’s Wines Hunter Valley Sémillon 2018 and Brokenwood Sémillon (2019), which can be purchased from Singapore Straits Wines Company and Singapore Wines Wholesales.
Here are some Sémillon wines you can purchase on Amazon Singapore.
The palate is zesty and crisp with a citrus, lemon curd and passionfruit fruit base all perfectly interwoven with herbaceous notes.
This Sémillon juice seduces with its aromatic richness: rhubarb, apple, pear, white peach, and acacia honey, by its mellow/acidity, its depth, the roundness and the remanence of its aromas.
This wine exhibits more complex aromas of smoked almonds and honeysuckle as well as buttery textures from the natural malolactic fermentation. The palate displays a spicy mineral flintiness with exotic fruit flavours.
Cape Mentelle takes a minimal approach towards this classic Margaret River blend. The aim is to preserve as much fruit intensity and regional character as possible, whilst providing a full-flavoured distinctive white wine.
This delicate blend of Hunter Valley Sémillon and Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc reflects the commitment to taking the grape variety from the region it best performs in. A fresh clean crisp wine with natural fruit sweetness and a zesty acidity giving great structure and balance.
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