Semillon in California seems to have a bit of a Rodney Dangerfield image, playing second fiddle behind the more photogenic stars of the viticultural landscape. Yet in Australia’s Hunter and Bordeaux’s Sauternes, it is the star.
I was delighted to find a champion of this grape on our recent visit to California’s Napa Valley. The incredibly friendly people at V. Sattui hosted my wine class from the Santa Rosa Junior College and the first wine we tasted was Semillon. I purchased two bottles before leaving as the winery does not distribute their wines – everything is sold from St. Helena – which leads me to tonight’s re-exploration of this wine.
V. Sattui Winery, Napa Valley, Semillon 2008 The nose features green herbs and tropical fruit. In the mouth you’ll find the addition of citrus fruit, a combo of grapefruit and orange, clean and moderately acidic. Many wineries build-up the mouthfeel with lashings of oak on top of this grape but not here – the original sense of Semillon is on full display.
The fruit for this wine is sourced from Carneros and Yountville. Besides the Semillon there is a light touch of Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the mix. Produced and bottled in St. Helena 14% purchased at the winery where it retails for $18.75