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Stony Hill Semillon de Soleil (375ML half-bottle) 2014

Semillon from Napa Valley, California
    14.5% ABV
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Each year Stony Hill is pleased to offer a small amount of this lovely dessert wine, Semillon de Soleil. Taking their cue from the Italian approach, the fruit is picked when it is ripe, but still not too high in sugar. The grapes are laid on trays in the sun for about two weeks to let the fruit get rich and concentrated. From there, they crush and ferment the grapes, and the result is a wonderfully sweet dessert wine that still retains a good amount of its acid. It is a perfect companion for lighter fruit-oriented desserts or for aged cheeses.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Stony Hill

    Stony Hill

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    Stony Hill, Napa Valley, California
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    If Stony Hill wines had to be characterized in one word, it would be balance. The McCrea family aims to achieve a balance between the intensely flavored fruit from its hillside vineyards and the notable acidity that gives the wine structure and the aging potential for which it's been known for more than five decades. The winery's goal is simply to translate the intense fruitiness of our grapes into elegant, food friendly wines. To that end, grapes are crushed and pressed with minimum skin contact and fermented in neutral oak cooperage. The wine is aged in neutral oak barrels, most of which are over ten years old, allowing the wine to develop and mature without absorbing an oak flavor component that could mask the natural fruit flavors.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    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.”

    UBNSHSS14_2014 Item# 355916