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Mount Horrocks Watervale Semillon 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Mount Horrocks Watervale Semillon 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

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.

100% Semillon.

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%.


Mt Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon Cellar Aged 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter ( in their June 2020 edition expert review of Hunter Valley Semillon (see blue link below). 

Mt Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon Cellar Aged 2013 - June 2020 Decanter review

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. 

Semillon 100%.

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 20 years from vintage (ie until almost 2035).

ABV = 11.0%.

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