2016 Silkman Sémillon Hunter Valley New South Wales

SKU #1386453 95 points James Halliday

 Bright straw-green; purity, precision and gun barrel-straight acidity all point to the same bullseye of ’30, but sighters can be taken any time from ’20 on.

91 points James Suckling

 A handy array of lime, lemon and grapefruit citrus, really pure and expressive, the palate has a direct, juicy and flavor some feel to it, stone fruits chime in here too, drink now.  (7/2016)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Scents of crushed stone and lime zest emerge on the nose of the 2016 Sémillon. It's light-bodied yet plump, with an appealing silky texture and bright lemon/lime and under-ripe pineapple flavors that linger on the slightly pithy finish. For a young Sémillon, it's remarkably appealing. (JC)  (12/2017)

Wine Enthusiast

 Apples, pears, lemon citrus, white spice and a tropical base note all lead this wine into palate that shows some textural fruit weight, minerality and the region's characteristic knife-edge acidity. This is approachable in its youth and will pair well a range of food, but could also hold through 2026. (CP)  (2/2019)

Wine Spectator

 Intense, expressive lemon curd notes are accented by fragrant chamomile and lanolin accents, set on a sturdy body, with vibrant acidity. Drink now through 2028. (MW, Web Only-2018)

K&L Notes

One of the most exciting wines coming out of Australia today is a 100% Sémillon made by Liz Silkman, who was named 2016 Winemaker of the Year at the Hunter Valley Legends awards. Precise, driven acidity and wet stone combine with grapefruit and Meyer lemon to make this steely, fresh, expressive wine. Light-bodied and incredibly refreshing, this is truly site-driven and not an expression of the varietal you will find elsewhere.

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Price: $19.99
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- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.

New South Wales

Specific Appellation:

Hunter Valley