Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon, comparing 2007 and 2013

Nice to be able to try these two Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillons side by side. As many of you know, Semillon is the speciality of Australia’s Hunter Valley wine region. Despite the fact that this is a hot region, Semillon grown here makes very fresh, low alcohol, pure citrussy wines that age beautifully. Elizabeth, from [...]

In South Africa, day 1, two exciting new wines - Patatsfontein and Harlem to Hope

I’ve been in South Africa for one afternoon and a sleep, and already I have much that I want to report on, but for starters I will talk about two exciting new white wines that I have tasted. I had them at dinner last night with Reneen Borman and Gavin Bruwer.

The first is from Reneen, [...]

Lunch with two great South African wines, and a good northern Rhône

Had a lovely long lunch yesterday. It was at Bread Street Kitchen, part of the Gordon Ramsay empire, located next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The dining room is huge. Really huge. Impressively huge. It’s beautifully finished in a faux vintage, semi-industrial style, but it’s really noisy. We could hardly hear the waitstaff as they talked to [...]

The Mullineux Semillon Gris

Now this is an interesting wine. It’s a Semillon Gris from Swartland (South Africa) stars Mullineux.

This is what Andrea Mullineux says about it:

Sémillon Gris is historically significant in South Africa, not just for the old vine aspect, but for its previous popularity. In the early 1800s, 80% of the vines in South Africa were [...]

Si Vintners Chinchecle Semillon 2011, a wonderful wine from Margaret River

Si vintners consists of Iwo Jakimowicz and Sarah Morris, and they have 20 acres of mature vines in Margaret River. They work naturally in both the vineyard and winery, with organics/biodynamics in the former and an additive-free approach in the latter – with just a little sulfur dioxide added at bottling. This Semillon comes from [...]

A superb Hunter Valley Semillon

This is rather good. It’s a Tyrrells exclusive for UK retailer Marks & Spencer, and it’s the real deal. Proper Hunter Semillon, just entering its long drinking window. It’s not cheap, but this is a serious fine wine that will age well. And occasionally, M&S have 25% off the range, when this becomes a very [...]

An evening of Semillon, an underrated grape variety

Bruce Tyrrell

Yesterday evening I took part in a tasting at Australia house, focused on Semillon. It’s a variety that hides in the shadows, but which excels in Australia, and specifically in the Hunter Valley. Here, it makes tremendously long lived white wines that start out life crisp, fresh and lemony. Give them a decade [...]