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Sémillon

An unassuming but noble variety capable of wines with considerable structure, depth and length ...

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An unassuming but noble variety capable of wines with considerable structure, depth and length, Sémillon is an uncompromising white variety with the power to create wines that improve for several decades. It is the perfect partner to the aromatic and vivid Sauvignon Blanc; the two are most commonly found blended in their home region of Bordeaux. Sémillon especially shines in Sauternes, one of the world’s greatest sweet wines, with highly concentrated flavors of honey and dried apricots. While Sémillon is not the most fashionable grape in the rest of the wine world, it enjoys great success in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it can produce elegant, complex dry wines with aging potential.

In the Glass

Sémillon is most notable for its smooth texture and significant palate weight. In youthful dry wines, it expresses subtle aromas of lemon, green apple, pear and stone fruit. Aged or sweet Sémillon wines show more complex characters of lanolin, beeswax, honeysuckle, ginger, saffron, vanilla or toast.

Perfect Pairings

Thanks to its moderate acidity, this fairly full-bodied wine can stand up to pretty boldly flavored food. Think lightly spiced Asian or Indian white meat or fish dishes, or anything with cinnamon, clove, or star anise. It’s also great with autumnal vegetables like kabocha squash, yam or potato. Botrytised Sémillon, as in Sauternes, is a perfectly decadent pairing with foie gras.

Sommelier Secret

Sémillon was once the most common variety in South Africa—so common, in fact, that in 1822, when 93% of the country’s vineyard area was planted with it, it was simply referred to as Wyndruif, or “wine grape.”

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  • Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon 2013 Front Label
    Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon 2013
    Semillon from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
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  • L'Ecole 41 Semillon 2016 Front Label
    L'Ecole 41 Semillon 2016
    Semillon from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • Tyrrell's Hunter Valley Semillon 2017 Front Label
      Tyrrell's Hunter Valley Semillon 2017
      Semillon from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
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    • Silkman Semillon 2016 Front Label
      Silkman Semillon 2016
      Semillon from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
      • RP91
      • JS91
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