Semillon is the ‘unicorn’ wine exciting sommsBy Lucy Shaw
Hunter Valley Semillons are the “unicorn wines” that are getting American sommeliers hot under the collar with excitement according to one local producer.
Speaking to db at a gathering of New South Wales winemakers in Sydney, Chris Tyrrell, a fifth generation family member of the Tyrell’s Wines dynasty, said:
“It’s humbling to be able to dedicate my work to this grape. I’m fanatical about making this one unique style and taking it to the world.
“Semillons are the unicorn wines that American sommeliers are getting excited about. It’s the hot grape variety in the US at the moment – people are finally starting to realise that you have to have it on your wine list.
“We’re back in the US with strong sales after eight years away from the market. Our grapes are on their own roots and you get such texture and complexity from them.
“Semillons age so well – you can’t kill them. It’s a very forgiving variety so you can do pretty radical things with it if you want to – it’s a great plaything.”
Australian wine writer Mike Bennie believes the beauty of Hunter Valley Semillon is its uniqueness to Australia.
“The Australian wine industry has hung its hat on 15% reds that don’t have any relevance to our climate and the fact that it’s hot and sunny 10 months of the year.
“In Hunter Semillon we have our own unique style that we can hang our hat on. And it ages so well – we should be proud to show it off,” he said.