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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 2012 Front Label
    Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon 2012
    Semillon from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Tim Adams Semillon 2012 Front Label
    Tim Adams Semillon 2012
    Semillon from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
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    • Brokenwood Hunter Valley Semillon 2012 Front Label
      Brokenwood Hunter Valley Semillon 2012
      Semillon from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
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      • Tyrrell's HVD Semillon 2012  Front Label
        Tyrrell's HVD Semillon 2012
        Semillon from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
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      • Happs Semillon 2012  Front Label
        Happs Semillon 2012
        Semillon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
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