Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).
Mount Horrocks Wines is run by proprietor/winemaker Stephanie Toole. Stephanie restricts production to approximately 3,500 cases per annum in order to achieve her aims of quality and single vineyard expression. Stephanie describes her wines as 'essentially hand made food wines with an emphasis on structure as well as generous fruit flavours'. All grapes are 100% estate grown from three separate vineyard sites totalling nearly 10 hectares which, in 2014, were 'A grade certified' by Australian Certified Organic (ACO). Her persistence with classic, no-compromise winemaking and a fully integrated organic approach to growing and making sets Mount Horrocks wines apart from the mainstream.
The 2017 harvest was later than previous years, after a cool and slightly wetter summer and growing period. The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning, when the grapes were in pristine condition.
100% estate-grown and certified organic, the grapes are carefully hand-harvested in the cool of the morning and sent straight to the winery where they are destemmed, crushed and gently pressed. The free-run juice is isolated and settled prior to fermenting in French oak barriques, one-third of which are new.
Each barrel is stirred weekly for three months then left on gross lees for a total of nine months when Stephanie conducts a series of tastings to determine the final blend. Once assembled it is bottled without fining.
Very pale white gold. Dried wildflower and lightly stewed apple over nuanced spicy oak. Crisp, lightly savoury, lemony Semillon with texture and length. Layered and flavoursome yet relatively light and bright for what is a wood-aged white, the pristine fruit shining through on the finish, balanced by chalky acidity. Sips nicely on its own but truly shines with grilled white fish or poultry. Worth cellaring through to 2028.
ABV = 12.5%.
** IN STOCK WEDS 13th MAY **
The 2018 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition expert review of Hunter Valley Semillon (see blue link below).
Mt Pleasant specialises in single-vineyard wines. Along with the Old Paddock it has Old Hill, Rosehill, Lovedale and Estate vineyards, all with distinctive terroirs to be able to achieve this. Mt Pleasant has quietly carved out a reputation as one of Australia's pre-eminent exponents of Shiraz, Semillon and more recently, Chardonnay. Old vineyards, great single vineyard wines, talented winemakers.
Inspired by the first visit of a reigning monarch to Australia in 1954, this wine is the embodiment of the synergy achieved by combining the noble grape varietal Semillon and the Hunter Valley. Renowned for its unique ability to be enjoyed when fresh and admired when allowed to age gracefully. Mount Pleasant celebrates both styles through 'Elizabeth'.
The growing season started well but lack of rainfall in late Spring meant that irrigation was necessary and the crop was smaller than first thought. A rain event in December helped but overall January was quite dry with extended heat spells and crop tonnage suffered immensely. The Semillon was picked before the next rain event; the fruit was in very sound condition with a good concentration of aromatics and flavor, with a nice acid line.
Once at the winery the Semillon was destemmed and pressed off skins to stainless steel tank. Here the juice was cold settled bright before being racked off, warmed and inoculated for ferment. The juice was fermented with specific neutral yeast strain chosen to promote the vineyard specific flavours, and fermentation was conducted at cold temperatures to retain the delicate flavours. Following fermention the wines were settled, blended and gently fined before being filtered to bottle.
Pale straw colour. The nose opens with fragrant floral notes of citrus blossom, followed by zesty ripe lime and mandarin aromas. The palate starts with elegant sweet lemon citrus notes followed by mouth-watering acidity. The palate is fine and displays an elegant balance of fruit and zesty acid. The flavours linger in the mouth creating a pleasing finish which is crisp and refreshing.
Can be drunk in its youth, but Hunter Valley Semillon is (almost) all about age and complexity, so: ideally cellared for up to 15 years from vintage (ie until almost 2033).
ABV = 11.0%.
"Should your travels take you to the Clare Valley, and it should be on every wine lover’s bucket list, a visit to Pauletts’ cellar door is a must with its sweeping views to the west and a great range of some of the region’s best wines. This is the inaugural release from the Pauletts Watervale vineyard and, on the strength of this wine; it is bound to raise a few eyebrows for both its quality and value for money. It is a wine that shatters the myth of Semillon being a bit of an ugly duckling in its youth. Pale straw in the glass with inviting aromas of lemon, grapefruit and citrus fruits, hints of lemon curd, crushed stone, citrus blossom, clotted cream, apple pie and light wafts of jasmine, dried mandarin rind, hay and proving dough. In the mouth it is lip–smackingly pure with pitch– perfect balance between ripe fruit and acid drive. Flavours of ripe lemon and grapefruit glide across the palate with a silky, suave gait underscored by hints of soft spice, creme fraiche, key lime pie, citrus blossom, straw, crushed quartz, almond butter and green apples. Sure, the Hunter Valley may be the benchmark for the variety in Australia, but when a wine is as delicious and regionally distinct as this, who cares. Drink up… preferably with a platter of South Australian seafood." Adelaide Review, of the 2015 vintage.
Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.
Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide, this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.
For this, their Semillon, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:
A beautiful clean and crisp Semillon from the Clare Valley in South Australia. A lovely lemon-green colour, the nose is bursting with fresh lemony citrus and white blossom aromas. On the palate the wine is refreshing with a crisp aciduty and flavours of lemon, lime and green apple. The acidity and freshness of flavour combine on the palate which finishes long and elegant.
ABV = 14.0%.