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Guerrilla Tasting #3 - New World Semillon LIVE Tasting



The live tasting on Thursday will be here. Scheduled for 8pm.

I’m working late tomorrow and will be under bedtime pressure on Thursday so gonna just dump all this here so you have something to read while the kids get one last chapter :slight_smile:


Jancis has the following to say in her description of the grape:

Often spelt Sémillon, this is one of those grapes like Riesling which tends to be much more appreciated by wine insiders than by the average wine drinker. They know that, were it not for the richness of Semillon the wine and the thin skins with their propensity to be nobly affected by botrytis of Semillon the grape, we would not have the truly great category of wines that is Sauternes and Barsac, the longest-living wines in the world.

They also know that Semillon grapes, underrated in much of the world, can produce arguably much more interesting, subtle and long-lived dry white wines than the Sauvignon Blanc that is so often grown alongside – not least in Sauternes and Barsac where the standard recipe is 80% Semillon to 20% Sauvignon Blanc plus a dash of the local Muscadelle. In many warmer wine regions Semillon with its naturally relatively low acidity can need the nerve and crispness provided by Sauvignon Blanc, but made well, dry Semillon can be an intriguing, full-bodied wine with a satisfying combination of citrus, honey and grassiness.

Indeed under-ripe Semillon smells so like Sauvignon Blanc than one is tempted to believe that they must be closely related even if DNA analysis has not yet proved this.

Guerrilla Tasting #3 - New World Semillon - 26 September 2019

For wine number 1 I thought to choose the Mendel as it is younger and suspect less rich.

TWS description

Mendel’s Argentine take on the great white grape of Bordeaux hails from a 70-year-old vineyard in Paraje Altamira, lending the wine a wonderful unforced concentration and greengage flavour. 15% of the wine was barrel fermented and aged for about four months, resulting in a light oak aroma.

Mendel say

Mendel Semillon is the maximum expression of these old strains in Argentina in a tranquil wine. In the nose it shows typical notes of white flowers and honey, also some herbal notes and tropical fruits. The oak ageing makes the wines more complex, lending coconut and hints of smoke, as well big volume and softness in the mouth. Mendel Semillon is a complex, elegant and agreeable wine


A few maps taking @Ewan’s lead


2nd wine of the evening. Suspect fuller and richer style, despite the barrel age of the Mendel:

TWS description

This is a great ambassador for a unique Aussie style. Margaret semillon is bottle-aged for five years before release, and can easily cellar for another five. The wine shows intense lemongrass, lime-peel and candle wax flavours, a rich body and long finish.

Peter Lehman Say

The Masters wines are named in honour of a person or event that has played an intrinsic role in the Peter Lehmann story, and released with bottle age to capture the wines’ full potential. Named after Peter Lehmann’s beloved wife, the Margaret Semillon is a beautiful aged white that develops over years of careful cellaring.

Winemaker Notes

This aged Semillon has developed an attractive pale straw colour with a green hue, displaying hints of lemon curd, zest and green melon. The finish is crisp with a mouth-watering acidity derived from the cool conditions of this vintage.


Fruit was picked early and fermented cold in stainless steel to retain fruit delicacy. Following a two week fermentation, the wine was clarified and bottled before being cellared for 5 years in the Peter Lehmann winery prior to release.



My wines are in the fridge ready to go. Never drunk a straight semillon before so any advice on temperature gratefully received.


Great notes and thanks for doing this ! I already have one … if I can find it and one to be delivered on Thursday …

Not too cold, I regularly drink an aged hunter valley and it really needs to be warm enough to taste the fantastic flavours an aged semillon can give . Take it out 30 mins before serving would be my advice :wink:.
Looking forward to it :blush:!


Agree with @Leah! Not too cold. Maybe 9 to 12 degrees or so? Too cold, and it loses its aroma, and the body would feel thinner than it is.

This is from Jancis.com - Wine of the Week:


Looking forward! :grinning: :+1:


Thanks for taking the time and trouble to provide some notes, it’s much appreciated.

I can only agree with @Leah and @Inbar regarding serving temp. Semillon, in my limited experience, can taste thin and acidic when over-chilled. As do other wines of course but Semillon seems even more prone to flavour and aroma loss than others in that respect.


My wines are here, there’s a reminder in my Outlook calendar and I’m all set for these two delicious whites! Looking forward to it!
Thanks from me too for your efforts in organising the No.3 Guerilla; where to go for the next one? I’ll have a think…


I was thinking a cannonau / Grenache tasting ?


Please, noooo


I LIKE Cannonau AND Grenache… Both can be very delicious. We will have to find some examples that prove their worth. :wink: :thinking:


Me too :wink:, the challenge is on :+1:.


My poor semillon thread, hijacked by garnacha :scream:


Though seem to remember this being bloody delicious:

Not TWS though


And decanted?

(thinking the Lehman might benefit from some fresh air after being cooped up for 7 years…?)

So many of the wines we drink (admittedly more red than white) taste considerably better on day 2. This evenings second go at TWS’s Tabalí Vetas Blancas Cabernet Franc 2015 (CE9471) being no exception.


I only ever decanted 3 white wines in my life, but I actually think you might be right, and a half an hour decant, then back in the bottle, will be good for the Lehmann.

I tasted the Lehmann in a TWS event in the summer, and it was wonderful; it certainly opened up as the evening progressed (I went back for another measure later in the evening, I was so impressed!), so aeration will no doubt improve it! :+1:


You’ll have to head over early then to cook supper and polish the decanter while I put the kids to bed :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: