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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Winner Details

New World: Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

2018  Gold 1        Silver 3                 Bronze 2              Commended 6
2017  Gold 1        Silver 4                 Bronze 0              Commended  6

Ah, Semillon. It seems to be a variety that bemuses our tasters. Some of them love it, others hate it or admit to barely understanding it. Opinions as to whether it improves Sauvignon or whether both varieties are better on their own fly around the Sommelier Wine Awards tasting like bats on a summer’s evening.

We generally get a mix of everything in here and that was the case again this year. We even had a wine with 10 years of age, which made for a nice treat. What we didn’t get was a massive entry, sadly, which explains the ‘OK but not amazing’ medal count.

Interestingly (indeed, incredibly), this was the third year on the trot that our single Gold-Listed wine came from South Africa rather than Australia. We’re sure the Saffers are far too courteous to mention that to their New World counterparts the next time they see them.


‘We had the very lean and light, crisp examples here, but then also the more heavily oaked style that was often lacking a bit in balance and freshness.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan

‘If Sauvignon Blanc is too much – for example with food – then these Semillon/Sauvignon Blancs can be a better choice.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘We saw lots of cabbage and asparagus notes. I was expecting more fruity styles, and even those off-dry, full-bodied styles of Semillon.’ Masahito Suzuki, The Social Company

‘I struggled to find any shining examples of what is a very recognised blend, whether it’s from Margaret River or Adelaide Hills.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘The ones we liked were benchmark Semillon – lime fruit with some soft smoke and nice acidity.’ Davide Dall’Amico, Royal Automobile Club

Award winners

Found 12 wines

New World: Semillon & Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Morgenster, Estate White 2014, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Gold medal winner

One of an impressive pair of Golds for Morgenster, this white blend had a ‘fresh, fragrant nose of summer gardens’, according to Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn, who went on to describe a palate that was ‘savoury and complex, with great minerality’. Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico found ‘lime and melon rind on the nose, which opens out on the palate with soft peach, melon and a subtle nuttiness, with fresh acidity but a waxy texture, and a long finish, too, deserving of food’.

£13.85 Enotria&Coe

Henschke, Louis, Semillon 2015, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin enjoyed this wine’s ‘mandarin, orange peel, quite subtle, fresh and zingy style that’s clean, ripe and fragrant’, while for team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW it had a ‘floral, leesy, citrus charm with rich lime curd appeal on the palate, signing off with stony minerality, crunchy and clean’.

£16.23 Enotria&Coe

Peter Lehmann, Margaret, Semillon 2011, Barossa, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Fresh, with zingy lime peel and cordial notes, smooth with crisp acidity and quite long on flavour with a touch of petrolly minerality,’ said Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club, while Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn found it ‘crisp and vibrant, with green sap and tropical fruits’.

£12.10 Liberty Wines

Growers Wine Group, Studio 2, Semillon/Sauvignon 2016, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Mineral and steely with a creamy finish,’ was how The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones saw it, with team leader Martin Lam adding: ‘Grassy and herbal, citrus nose, bone dry on the palate and a good blend, with the Sauvignon character more dominant, but a waxy element, too.’

£6.59 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Steenberg, Magna Carta, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2016, Constantia, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin was impressed with this ‘leafy, subtle, incisive and pure’ wine, enjoying its ‘quite fat and rich, waxy, honeyed, mineral character, showing gentle oak treatment’, and team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW described it as ‘very elegant and long’.

£24.99 Bibendum

Mount Pleasant, Cellar Aged, Elizabeth, Semillon 2007, Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Noting its ‘distinct golden colour’, team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW highlighted this Semillon’s ‘toasty aromas and a slightly spritzy palate, vivid pineapple fruit and a well-controlled, stony and refreshing finish’.

£13.52 Enotria&Coe

Voyager Estate, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Robert Oatley, Helmsman, Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Steenberg, Semillon 2016, Constantia, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£16.41 Bibendum

West Cape Howe, Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Tokara, Director's Reserve, White 2015, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Shannon, Semillon 2015, Elgin, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£11.37 Matthew Clark


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