More Sémillon

My infatuation with all things Sémillon (French word derived from “to sow”) is no secret (read all about it here). Therefore each discovery of a new expression (sometimes it could simply be a change of vintage) is always a delight on my side. As a grape I find it incredibly versatile with regards to the style of wine that it may give rise to, and further still it has a quirky side to it that gives it great intrigue. Being a difficult sell with its particular pronunciation (Seh-mee-yon) and loss in popularity, few generally indulge with it unless they are serious about making quality wine.

semSteenberg, South Africa, has been consistently churning out some remarkable marvels that have kept me pleasantly entertained year after year. The last such manifestation I tried was their 2012, which after being brought into the cellar was crushed and destemmed before spending a night in stainless steel tanks. Following this, the grape juice was fermented in French oak barrels where only 42% was new. They spent a total 9 months in these 500 to 600 l barrels where frequent bâtonnage was practiced before bottling (Read on reasons for barreling here).

On the first nose of the wine I got cream and linden floral characters that were quite prominent. Going back again, I picked up ginger and vanilla biscuits, draped with yeast. The palate was crisp and fresh; showing pithy lemon, pineapples and peaches. That creaminess came alive again, rounding out the palate and fading only to the lengthy clean acidity. With so much punch, I can definitely seeing it aging another 5 plus years, where you would probably see those petroleum and pear qualities coming out…

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