Posted on 22 March 2011.
Landmark Australia Tutorial, Seminar 5: ‘Semillon’ presented by Andrew Thomas
Semillon remains one of Australia’s less-discovered varietals, especially in international markets. Even within Australia, it is not unusual for those outside of New South Wales, for example, to have little experience of Hunter Valley Semillon, the archetypal region for an intriguing style of wine.
In the cloud-covered, hot, humid and thereby viticulturally challenging Hunter, Semillon is typically picked early, which helps maintain naturally high degrees of malic acidity, resulting in wines that only attain around 10-11% alcohol even when fermented to dryness. Citrus-driven and unoaked, these are austere, yet refreshing wines in their youth – ideal with oysters and other seafood – but with bottle age take on complex toasted and savoury aromas that are to die for. Not for nothing are blind-tasters regularly fooled into thinking old Hunter Semillon is high-end aged white Burgundy. Read the full story
Posted in Semillion
Posted on 22 February 2011.
Introductory Session: Explaining the wide diversity of climates in Australia’s viticultural areas with Dr. Tony Jordan
Tony Jordan opened the Tutorial with a review of the big picture that is Australia’s tapestry of climates, carefully distinguishing between ‘cold’, ‘cool’, ‘warm’ and ‘hot’ zones.
Jordan explained how winemaking in the cradle of South-Eastern Australia would not be possible were it not for the cooling currents of the Great Southern Ocean. Even with rising global temperatures, however, Jordan noted that viticulture at higher elevations in Victoria and, of course, in the genuinely cool Tasmania should be sustainable. But no one should be surprised to see uprooting and retreat from hot inland areas supported by irrigation, for example Riverina (New South Wales) or Riverland (South Australia), the sources of most of Australia’s bulk wine. Replanting at the very least will have to occur, ideally to less water-intensive, earlier ripening grape varietals (e.g. Tempranillo) and experimentation by the likes of Brown Bros. combining with cutting edge research from the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) will provide growers/producers with vital information as vineyards are replanted and management of water is more effectively controlled. Read the full story
Posted in Wine Reviews