We made our first commercial quantity of straight varietal Semillon in 1998 and continued that through to 2005 by which time the market was telling us they weren't interested in Margaret River Semillon.
Sales had dropped from a heady 900 cases, struggling to move even 200 cases by the end of that period.
Our distributors were saying that Semillon was 'out of fashion' with today's wine drinker ...it had nothing to do with wine quality.
How does good wine go out of fashion? It shouldn't.
The Hunter Valley in NSW has long been regarded as Australia's premier Semillon region. Hunter Semillon is a unique and specific style.
Considered amongst the best wine styles in Australia, it gets better as it gets older.
Here in Margaret River Semillon comes in 2 shapes and sizes:
Lean and mean, crisp acidity and prominent citrus flavours or,
Full flavoured ripe fruit with texture from oak barrel ferment and/or maturation.
I prefer the latter.
The Arlewood white wine project (read about that in an earlier blog) began in 2002 and was based around oaked Semillon.
These Semillon dominant wines continue to impress; James Halliday re-visited the 2010 Reserve SSB in his latest Wine Companion and improved the score to 95 points!
The latest of the 100% straight Semillons from Arlewood is the 2014. This has lashings of French oak and takes the wine to another dimension.
Beautifully perfumed, lush and viscous, with enough acidity to close off the wine with a tight finish. I think it is our best ever.
Some other people do too: it recently won Gold at the Australasia Boutique Wine Awards in Sydney. And that was in the midst of all those classic Hunter Valley wines.
Semillon is such a good food wine. The leaner styles love seafood, and the oaky styles love big food flavours.
It should never have gone out of fashion, and I am persevering with it.
Why don't you join me?
You can get your hands on the Arlewood Semillon via our online cellar (free shipping!)