Semillon

Semillon is a real star of a grape, but receives much less of the limelight than Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Rewind a couple of hundred years though, and Semillon was the most widely planted grape in the world. So why isn’t it headlining nowadays? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that it isn’t as buttery as Chardonnay or as crisp as Sauvignon, but this is precisely what makes it great in both a lead role and as a supporting act. By itself it can deliver soft fruit flavours of apple and fig and green notes including grass and asparagus. In a blend it can add richness to Sauvignon (a combination often found in Bordeaux) and freshness to Chardonnay (a popular double act in Australia). It’s its starring role in the delicious dessert wines of Bordeaux that make it a true idol though. Semillon is thin-skinned and presents a great habitat for noble rot. This natural process, which sweetens the juice whilst maintaining freshness, produces some of the most exquisite (and expensive) wines on the planet. Here Semillon is definitely the main attraction.

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