We tasted: Tyrells Hunter Valley Semillon £13, M&S
Emma says: “I’m writing this in the last 5 minutes of England v Colombia and my first thought is that this really isn’t the wine to watch the nerve rattling experience of an England World Cup game.
Not that I have much experience of football supporting, being Andy’s girlfriend definitely has its down side, especially during the World Cup. The reason this wine doesn’t match, is that Semillon is a wine which in itself encapsulates a lot of tension being lean and bone dry with a piercing level of acidity. So right now every sip seems to make me more nervous.
We’re tasting a Hunter Valley Semillon which has a very particular style. They pick the grapes early so there is a high level of acidity and lower than usual alcohol, at around 11%. When youthful the wine can seem almost watery and neutral with a fresh lemon juice zing. Then as it ages it really comes into its own developing much more interest, often with a candle wax aroma, smoky complexity and rich lime flavours with a peppery twist. I have tasted some fantastically complex old Semillon. The one we’re tasting tonight is on the simpler end. I got a whiff of white smoke on the nose, a touch of wax but it was altogether citrus focused, lean and with that big zing of acidity. I like the fact that the fruit tastes pristine and clean but there didn’t feel to be much dimension yet in the style. Perhaps it needed a little more age.
We had it with pizza which I didn’t feel was the right match either, the delicate character of the wine was masked by the tomato of the pizza. I kept thinking sushi would have worked better.
[talking of matches, I’m never going to write a note during football again – in the time I wrote this Colombia equalised. And thank god England finally won or Andy would have blamed me]”
Andy says: “Emma has already blown our cover and given away the day we tasted this. Ideally we’d be a few more days ahead instead of throwing this crap together just before the newsletter deadline each week. But hey ho, England won.
Thankfully, my notes will be short, and not because I wasn’t really paying attention to the wine, I just have nothing to say about it. It was another one of those limey sour whites that I just can’t understand. I need to go back through my other write ups and see what the connection – other than my poor palate and lack of wine vocabulary – is.”
Semillon is a grape that was often blended with Sauvignon to make Bordeaux whites. It then found fame as a single grape in Australia, specifically Hunter Valley where is makes elegant low alcohol whites that age well. So try to find an Australian version to get a pure taste of the grape.