Hunter Valley Semillon is one style that has the ability to last well, and it also changes dramatically in character. It is said the cooler vintages best suit the long-aging ability, and that the traditional, minimally intervened wines of old do o too, and show beautiful complexity. The modern, more fruit-expressive versions don’t seem to behave quite as well, but they still cellar and improve too.
It was a treat when The Knotter brought to dinner a 1999 Brokenwood Hunter Valley Semillon. This is in the modern camp, and deliciously bright with tropical fruits and herbs on release, rather than austere, shy and rather non-descript as in the more traditional wines. But this too had developed beautifully with bottle age. Not gloriously, as glory isn’t beautiful. This was still fresh as a daisy with florals, white stonefruits, herbs and a touch of toast, and maybe a suggestion of honey. The wine was a stylish and elegant drink, the complexity reminding both SWMBO and I of how a beautiful Chardonnay can show. However, I’d put money on this Semillon lasting even longer. Thank you to The Knotter.