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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Winner Details

New World: Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc


2015: Gold 2 Silver 1 Bronze 3 Commended 1
2014: Gold 2 Silver 4 Bronze 0 Commended 4


The Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc category is the New World’s equivalent of Jura: a small category that over-delivers, and that might be a hand-sell, but also genuinely has a place on a list. Our tasters were somewhat disappointed not to find too many good cheap wines (only one medal under a tenner) but the fact that this category picked up two Golds – only one fewer than the immeasurably larger Sauvignon Blanc section – tells you much of what you need to know about the quality.

Interestingly, it wasn’t all Hunter Valley. Or even all Australia. Might we see a bit more of this variety – either in conjunction with Sauvignon or solo – in the future? Here’s hoping.

 

Star Performer

Well done to Stella Bella, which followed its Gold for Suckfizzle Sem/Sauv last year with a Gold for its well-priced sibling this year. And a Silver for the Suckfizzle just for good measure!


From The Tasting Teams


‘The method I use to turn over wines that don’t sell very well [like New World Semillon], is to sell them with food – feature wines on the menu to match with specific dishes. We knock the price down a little bit too. People like that – it’s easier to just order the food and have the wine with it. You can turn over some expensive wines that way.’ Gustavo Medina, Rex Whistler Restaurant

‘This flight was really random in terms of styles.’ Sandro Lyhs, Oxo Tower Bar

‘At the top end, the quality was exceptional. I think I was surprised, given that so many people do Semillon/Sauvignon blends, that the wines by the glass at the cheaper end weren’t better. Even with exchange rates they should be getting something over here that people will enjoy.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader


Award winners

Found 7 wines

New World: Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Stella Bella, Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Stella Bella has done it again. Last year its Suckfizzle Semillon/Sauvignon won Gold. This year it just missed the Gold level, but its sibling, this vibrant, citrus-infused wine stepped up to the mark, winning Gold instead. Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW found this wine ‘finely balanced, with a little bitterness, a little sweetness, but it’s long and interesting’, while Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel noted: 'Intense citrus, with tart apples and pears, plus peach in the background.'

£11.63 Alliance Wine

Brokenwood, ILR Reserve, Semillon 2007, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Gold medal winner

The one the judges want to snaffle. ‘Fusel oil aromas, the glass is jumping with lively, long fruit and brilliantly penetrating acidity. Individual,’ said impressed team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, with Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant adding: ‘Tropical, stone fruit flavours and a very long finish, with grassy herbs.’ 'Match with aromatic fish dishes,' suggested The Ritz Hotel's Jonathan Kleeman, specifying pan-seared squid with Asian-spiced noodles.

£22.61 Negociants

Stella Bella, Suckfizzle, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2011, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Medium intensity, lifted greengage and bell pepper nose with grassy hints, following through on to the palate with minerals and great acids,’ said consultant Michael Harrison, with Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant adding: ‘Great texture, full of flavour and complex, with fresh herbal notes.’

£20.55 Alliance Wine

St Supéry, Virtú 2013, Napa Valley, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘Great clarity and good length,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: ‘Bacon notes on the nose with a mineral palate and a very brisk, rapier shaft of acidity.’ ‘Notes of white peach, white flowers, and lime and grapefruit,’ added Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar.

£17.88 Laytons

Voyager Estate, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2014, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar found a ‘grassy nose, fresh green apples and gooseberry on the palate’, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW noted: ‘Gloriously aromatic, with honeysuckle and jasmine and a rich, rounded palate.’

£11.75 Justerini & Brooks

Spier, Creative Block 2 2013, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Lifted, grassy nose, lovely ripe bell pepper palate with good, well-managed acidity and length,’ began consultant Michael Harrison, with Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant adding: ‘Aromatic, grassy, summery wine, good by the glass.’

£7.66 Bibendum

Rathbone, Xanadu, Exmoor Drive, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2014, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.97 Bibendum

 

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