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At a glance

Country of Origin: France
Region of Origin: Bordeaux
Typical Product: White
Structure: Light
Climate: Warm
Soil Type: Gravel
Serving Temp: 45 - 50F
Ageability: 1 to 3*
Blends: Sauternes
Sauces to Pair:
Meals to Pair:
Other Names*:


There are a number of old world grape Varietals that are merely niche players in the Varietal trade but have virtually become the national grape of new world countries.  In the US, most wine drinkers have conveniently forgotten that Zinfandel has old world roots.   Argentina is best known for Malbec, originally from Bordeaux.  The white wine grape most closely associated with Australia is Semillon.  Semillon is an enigma - a wine that in most cases should be drunk early but if made with care can last decades.  The best examples are made in less than ideal growing conditions and at lower alcohol levels, often only 10%.   If affected by Noble Rot to create a Sauternes, it can continue to improve over a century.*

Semillon is native to southwest France.  Although there is some debate as to whether it actually originated in Bordeaux, it is one of the three white Varietals that are allowed in the production of white Bordeaux blends.  It's also one of the primary contributors to the classic sweet French Sauternes.

Semillon generally buds early and ripens early.  It's a vigorous vine producing abundant bunches of fruit, which makes it commercially attractive.  It typically produces a golden-yellow grape, which renders generous amounts of juice further enhancing its commercial viability.  It has a medium thick skin.  Semillon does well in various soil types although they should be well drained.  It is not particularly vulnerable to mildew but can be affected by rot.  Gray rot can be a problem but many growers attempt to infect the vines with Noble Rot or Botrytis Cinerea to produce classic Sauternes.

*Most Semillon produced in the US is not designed for cellaring and should be consumed within a couple of years but check with the winery that produced it and inquire if it was made to age.  Ageworthy Semillons can be the longest living wines currently made.

* used in California

Show Me Wineries That Are Selling This Wine With Expanded Listings On

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Name Vintage Year Price Tasting Comments
Fenestra Winery
2010  $14.00   
Eckert Estate Winery
2012  $18.00   
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