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Brokenwood Hunter Valley Semillon 2012

Semillon from Hunter Valley, Australia
  • JH92
10.5% ABV
  • JH94
  • WE90
  • JH94
  • W&S92
  • JH94
  • JS93
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • JH94
  • W&S90
  • JH94
  • W&S92
  • RP90
  • JH94
  • JH90
  • W&S90
  • JH95
  • JH94
  • WE90
  • WE87
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10.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Plenty of pale green tints. Lifted grassy citrus characters on the aromas. Sweet fruit flavors intially on the palate with some Bickford lime cordial notes. Excellent acid structure, importantly balanced with the fruit, long carry on the finish as well. Perfect in its youth, will bottle age gracefully for those that want a mature style.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 92
Australian Wine Companion
Pale quartz; operates in strict compliance with the 'ain't broke, don't fix it' nostrum, its fragrant bouquet and lively palate with hallmark lemon/lemongrass/citrus lengthened by lively acidity.
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Brokenwood

Brokenwood

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Brokenwood, Hunter Valley, Australia
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Although based in Hunter Valley, Brokenwood’s practice of multi-district blending has been a major part of the company's philosophy since fruit from other regions was first sought in 1978. This unique approach and the resulting quality wines have cemented Brokenwood's place as one of Australia's most revered and consistent labels.

Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia's most reputable wine labels. Brokenwood was established by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors who then paid a record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. The original block, initially planned as a cricket round for the local community, was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and later Shiraz. The first vintage picked in 1973 yielded plenty of praise and a loyal following that eventually led to increased production and the creation of a new winery just two years later.

Growth was steady until 1978 when six new partners joined allowing for the purchase of the Graveyard Vineyard the vineyard that produces the winery's flagship wine. When in 1982 Brokenwood decided to diversify into white wines, they appointed Iain Riggs as winemaker and managing director. Just a year after diversifying into white wine production, Brokenwood's output was 70 percent white.

Hunter Valley

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Even as a hot subtropical growing region, the Hunter Valley region on the eastern side of Australia produces world-renowned and admired white wines from the Semillon grape.

Hunter Valley Semillons are known to achieve such fresh and bracing acidity levels that while they can be enjoyed in their youth, evolution typically brings their best qualities forward. Most will develop favorably for upwards of 10 to 20 years. These wines are fairly low in alcohol and when young, can be tart and citrus-driven whites with piquant herbal and mineral notes. The best examples, when aged, develop notes of caramel, honey, browned butter and roasted nuts. Some are fermented or matured in oak but it is often undetectable in this fresh style.

Soils in the Hunter Valley are volcanic basalt and white alluvial sands, favorable for aroma development in Semillon.

While winter and spring drought is common, summer and fall brings a good deal of precipitation. Warm summer nights allow the Semillon vines to ripen with haste but constant cloud cover in the fall reduces vine stress and the impact of their heat load. Ripening comes early end of January early February, equivalent to early August in the northern hemisphere.

Semillon

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A shy but noble variety with considerable structure, depth, and length, beneath Sémillon’s aloof exterior lays a singular, uncompromising white with the power and intensity to create wines that can last and improve for several decades. It is the perfect partner to tame Sauvignon Blanc's wild side in its most important outpost 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 has had great success in Australia, where it can produce elegant, complex dry wines.

In the Glass

Sémillon is most notable for its oily 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 character 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.”

SOU342764_2012 Item# 128918