Sémillon

Common synonyms: Wyndruif (South Africa)

Parentage of the grape: undetermined, likely native to Bordeaux and/or surroundings
 
History of the grape: Little is documented about the early years of this grape, which is surprising due to its distinguished popularity in the regions where it is grown. It has been used in quality production in France, in the areas in and around Bordeaux for centuries. It is there that it is found in elegant dry white wines, most often blended with Sauvignon Blanc. But perhaps even more importantly, its predisposition for Botrytis cinerea (a.k.a. “noble rot”), which has an astounding effect on the grape (as long as it is healthy), pinpointing its sugars and aromas for the Cadillac of sweet wine, Chateau d’Yquem of Sauternes. These wines can take long cellar aging and are some of the most sought after and expensive wines in the world. In more accessible forms, it is found in the late harvest dessert wines of lesser grade Sauternes (which are still Read more »

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Sémillon on Snooth

  • Château Guiraud Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Bordeaux Contrôlée 'G' Sec 2000

    Snoothrank:

    Fun wine with vibrant fruit and a nice minerality. As it warmed it showed a nice round mouthfeel. Delicious! [NR] Read More

    Wine review by ryanopaz


  • Domaine de Chevalier Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Pessac-Léognan Blanc 1983

    Snoothrank:

    Domaine de Chevalier made the best white wine of the appellation in this vintage, as well as one of the great successes of the eighties. The 1983 was impossibly closed when I last tasted it. It still reveals that profound mineral, honeyed bouquet, and rich, intense, mouth-filling flavors that are exceptionally well knit, and a long, explosively ... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château Rieussec Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1989

    Snoothrank:

    After a period of prolonged disjointedness, this wine has pulled itself together. The color is deep straw, and the wine displays an intense perfume of creme brulee custard, baked apple pie, and sweet, ripe pineapples and pears. Full-bodied, rich, alcoholic, and fat, with low acidity and considerable sweetness, this is a luxuriously rich, unctuou... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château Raymond-Lafon Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1990

    Snoothrank:

    The 1990 may be the most complete and botrytised among this trio of exceptional wines from Raymond-Lafon. The wine possesses a light to medium gold color. It also possesses an opulent, full-bodied, exotic, lavishly rich personality, moderate sweetness, and huge quantity of extract, glycerin, and alcohol in its finish. The wine is also extremely ... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1988

    Snoothrank:

    The massively rich, yet fresh, lively 1988 offers a compelling, flowery, honeyed bouquet of vanilla custard, buttery orange/apricot scents, and smoky ceme brulee. The wine's zesty acidity brings everything into extraordinary clarity. With plenty of botrytis evident, this is a full-bodied, super-concentrated, fascinating, powerful yet elegant Sau... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château Coutet Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Barsac Cuvée Madame 1989

    Snoothrank:

    The 1989 Cuvee Madame is deep, bright gold in color. This blockbuster sweet wine offers up aromas of coffee, custard, pain grille, honeyed tropical fruits, and a note coconut. Unctuously-textured, and oozing glycerin, extract, and richness, this full-bodied, yet extraordinarily well-delineated wine offers the rare combination of power and comple... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château d'Yquem Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1989

    Snoothrank:

    The favorite sweet wine of millionaires, Chateau d'Yquem has, not unexpectedly, turned in a brilliant effort with their newly released 1989. It is a large-scaled, massively rich, unctuously-textured wine that should evolve effortlessly for a half century or more. It does not reveal the compelling finesse and complexity of the 1988 or 1986, but i... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château Climens 1986

    Snoothrank:

    A totally compelling Climens and every bit as good as the 1988. It is probably the best Climens made since their spectacular 1971. Still light gold in color, it has an expansive bouquet of new oak, oranges, pineapples, and other tropical fruits. In the mouth, there is great richness that seems all the more impressive because of the wine's remark... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château Rieussec Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1986

    Snoothrank:

    This is a stunningly complex and elegant wine, but it is less muscular as well as less fat than either the 1983 or 1989. There are plenty of smoky almonds, peaches, and honeyed apricot fruit in the nose and flavors. In the mouth, the wine has a certain elegance, and perhaps not quite the punch one normally expects from Rieussec. Nevertheless, it... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


  • Château d'Yquem Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend Sauternes 1967

    Snoothrank:

    Based solely on the strength of what is unquestionably a great Yquem, many have concluded that 1967 was a superb vintage for Sauternes. The truth is that 1967 was a very good but irregular vintage. As for Yquem, it is close to perfection. Medium amber/golden with a full intensity bouquet of vanillin spice, honey, ripe pineapples, and coconut, th... Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker


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