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 Sauternes 1988


    More tight and backward than I remembered it, the 1988 exhibits a stylish, spicy nose of ripe fruit, some botrytis, medium to full-bodied flavors with well-integrated oak, an attractive, smoky, honeyed fruit character, and a lively finish. It is more shy and reticent than usual. It should last for 20-30 years. Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

  • Yquem 1988


    The 1988 is a more backward-styled Yquem than the 1989, built along the lines of the extraordinary 1975. With a honeyed, smoky, orange/coconut/pineapple-scented nose, this powerful wine possesses full body, layers of highly concentrated, extracted flavors, considerable botrytis, and a sensational finish. Last tasted 12/97 Read More

    Wine review by Robert Parker

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