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Sémillon

Learn about Sémillon — taste profile, popular regions and more …

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An unassuming but noble variety, Sémillon is capable of producing wines with considerable structure, depth, length, and potential to improve for several decades. It is the perfect partner to the vivdly aromatic 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 hugely popular 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.

Tasting Notes for Sémillon

Sémillon makes a dry or sweet white wine with a 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 Food Pairings for Sémillon

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 Secrets for Sémillon

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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  • Peter Lehmann Semillon 2002 Front Label
    Peter Lehmann Semillon 2002
    Semillon from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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  • Alice White Semillon-Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Alice White Semillon-Chardonnay 2002
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      • Rosemount Diamond Semillon 2002 Front Label
        Rosemount Diamond Semillon 2002
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        • Chateau Ste. Michelle Semillon 2002 Front Label
          Chateau Ste. Michelle Semillon 2002
          Semillon from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        • Margan Family Margan Family 2002
          Semillon from Australia
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          • JJ Hahn Semillon 2002
            Semillon from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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          • Wyndham Bin 777 Semillon 2002 Front Label
            Wyndham Bin 777 Semillon 2002
            Semillon from Australia
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