Test Your Wine Knowledge
What is NOT true of Sémillon?
A) Grown in Bordeaux, Australia and in small amounts in South Africa and California.
B) An Alternative to Chardonnay
C) Has an affinity to oak
D) Always produces a sweet wine
Answer: Always produces a sweet wine
Sémillon is mostly known for being grown in the Bordeaux region of France, and is blended with Sauvignon Blanc to create Bordeaux Blanc—a dry wine. Also, in Bordeaux, when botrytis (noble rot) appears, it produces a sweet wine that is blended (80% Sem and 20% SB with a little of muscadelle) to create a sweet wine called Sauterne. Botrytis doesn’t always occur and when it does, the wine grower is faced with difficult and timely picking conditions, thus the expensive price tag attached to it.
A 100% Sémillon from France is pretty hard to find, but Australia, California and South Africa all produce 100% bottlings. Australia is probably your best bet because they grow a lot more of it there than in California and South Africa.
Sémillon is a classic variety that’s often overlooked by the average consumer. I always welcome it because it’s an alternative to Chardonnay (not as full bodied), has an affinity to oak and ages well.
This month we have a rare bottling from Etude Wines, California. Join now or you will miss out on this opportunity.
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