Origin: Hunter Valley, Australia
Approx Cost: $45
Semillon seems to be one of those varietals that goes below the radar. Which is a real shame because Australian examples tend to be extremely good value for money. As I mentioned in my last post, Tyrrells Semillon is the best example of its kind in Australia and '98 was said to be a fairly decent vintage (current vintage is 1999, which is meant to be exceptional). The number of medals on the bottle is nothing short of impressive (which these days may not say a great deal) so it's gauranteed to wow anyone you might be sharing it with (in my case it was my Dad, he was suitably wowwed). The first thing you get on the nose is the pungent burst of bright citrus and refined floral smells. It's colour is light gold and it leaves luscious long legs on the glass. Once it was in my mouth I found it had a silky smooth feel with a really nicely balanced acidity, delivering all the goodness of the lime and lemon citrus without being sour or unpleasant. There is a sort of dryness to it which leaves it lingering nicely, it's well defined without any any signs of bitterness or poor oak, which I find ruins some chardonnays. If anything it was probably a little too easy to drink and got through half a bottle without really thinking. I drank it with a chilli/garlic/cherry tomato/prawn and linguini scenario which worked fairly well. The thing is, if you wanted a chardonnay this good you'd be looking to pay a lot more.