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 [...]

A lovely, affordable Hunter Semillon

Very nice wine, this. Hunter Valley Semillon is a unique style of wine. Pale, fresh, light in youth, yet ages brilliantly. And it comes from a very warm wine region. A vinous paradox. This is a good one at a nice price, ready to drink now.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Bottle-Aged Semillon 2006 Hunter Valley, Australia
10.5% [...]

Serious Bergerac Blanc from Luc de Conti

Really like this wine. It’s a serious Bergerac Blanc from Luc de Conti. Two thirds Semillon, a third Sauvignon, aged in barrels (half of which are new).

Chateau Tour des Gendres Moulin des Dames Bergerac Blanc Sec 2007 France
14% alcohol. Yellow/gold colour. Rich nose of toast, honey and citrus. The palate has bold, rich, toasty pear [...]

Sweet wine season, 3: De Bortoli Noble One

De Bortoli’s Noble One is now firmly established as an Aussie icon. Since its first vintage in 1982, it has established a strong reputation as a complex botrytised sweet wine that has the capacity to age beautifully. This, the 2006 vintage, is just beautiful. It’s the second time I’ve drunk it, with consistent notes.

De Bortoli [...]