Single-vineyard semillon

Single-vineyard semillons are becoming quite the thing in the Hunter Valley, as are aged releases. Brokenwood, Tyrrell’s (tastings) and others have long had individual vineyard bottlings which are often then subjected to extended bottle-ageing pre-release, and they are often outstanding. 

Brokenwood’s latest is the six year-old 2009 Latara Vineyard ($55 – tasting), an outstanding wine. Brokenwood has also bottled a 2013 Oakey Creek Vineyard ($33 – tasting), but it’s been released relatively young at two years. 

One winery jumping into the single-vineyard semillon game recently is Peppertree, although aged wines don’t seem to be on their radar yet. Their top wine Alluvius ($35 – tasting) is a 2014 and it’s outstanding. The 2014 Rhodes Single Vineyard Semillon ($28 – tasting) is also excellent, if young. Peppertree’s stablemate winery, Briar Ridge, also has some beautiful semillons grown in the Mount View area (tastings). 

I’m also impressed with those wineries who field a young as well as a mature semillon: Tintilla’s 2007 Angus ($40 – tasting) is lovely, while the young version, 2013 Angus ($28 – tasting) is good, if a little on the green-pea flavour spectrum. McLeish Estate’s 2013 ($20 – tasting) has to be one of the best value for money young semillons around at present: it has a great future, and I can see it even giving the famous show-award-hogging 2007 McLeish Estate Semillon (tasting) a run for its money in the distant future. The latter wine, incidentally, is still available, but its price keeps rising as it keeps winning trophies, and presumably as stocks keep dwindling. Expect to pay $120 a bottle! (But it’s a great wine.)

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