It has attractive, grassy, herbaceous overtones but its fruit aromas are predominantly ripe figs and honey. The nose seems to be more complex than usual with the lees character giving it the appearance of having been matured in cask. We see it as being quite similar to Semillon from Graves as a result of the pre-fermentation contact with solids.
On the palate, the wine has a fresh, crisp acidity, a suppleness and roundness of structure as well as a trace of tannin on the finish.
Semillon was the product of a long, dry growing season in which, unlike the previous vintage, little rain fell in January or February. There were some anxious moments with a few very hot days but, fortunately, these caused no damage to the grapes. The size of the harvest was one of the biggest ever, ten percent above average and yet the quality of the Semillon fruit was excellent.
As has been the case in recent years, the crop has been picked in three stages (green, ripe and extra ripe) to produce a wine of greater complexity. Some solids were retained in juice prior to fermentation to enhance the character of the wine on the nose and to encourage an attractive mouth feel. Atypically, this year’s Semillon received four weeks lees contact after fermentation to give it greater complexity.
Apart from that, vinification followed the usual pattern, with the fermentation occurring at 18 C and taking two weeks to complete. The wine was fined and filtered after the lees contact and then bottled, this year using the services of Mike and Jan Davies’ Portavin, a high quality, mobile bottling service which is proving popular in the region.