Semillon: McWilliams, Mount Pleasant, Elisabeth, 2006, Hunter Valley, Australia
McWilliams Mount Pleasant Winery was rated 5 stars by the leading Australian wine critic, James Halliday.
In this small region, just a few hours north of Sydney, one of the world’s very best white wines is produced. It is a well-kept secret. And it’s called aged Hunter Semillon.
What is staggering is the longevity of the wines. A top Semillon, such as this, can age for 20-40 years, and some only hit their peak well into that period.
Semillon is a white grape that you mainly find here and in Bordeaux, for fine wine. It is picked early, fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then bottled in the Spring after the vintage. It is unoaked.
But then the magic begins. When the winery finally releases the wine at 4 years of age it starts to show its beauty. Notes of fresh lime, lemon zest and toast envelop the senses. The palate is broad, becoming increasingly full bodied with age. Flavors of nectarine and citrus unravel on a richly textured palate. And the hallmark thread of crisp vibrant acidity refreshes the senses.
This is a complex, elegant, classic white wine. Don’t tell anyone the secret.
Food and Wine Pairing:
Perfect with poultry and richer fish dishes.
by James Cluer, Contributing Wine Editor www.finevintagewineclub.com