Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Semillon 2008

This was recommended to me by my local Oddbins store manager. I had attended a tasting there a couple of weeks ago, and decided to purchase some wine (more on what I bought in future posts). I was buying with a friend, and we needed to make up a case of 12 to get a discount. I asked for a Semillon, and this is what I got.

I find Semillon intriguing. It doesn't enjoy the popularity of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, the critical acclaim of Riesling, or the mass-market appeal of Pinot Grigio. It's the main grape used in the sweet wines of Sauternes, and it's also used as a blending grape with Sauvignon Blanc (in white Bordeaux or Australian white blends). However, use of it as a dry varietal wine is limited, normally to the South Australia and New South Wales regions of Australia, where it can produce long-lived wines of complexity.

Fleur du Cap's motto is "wines inspired by nature". This particular wine is hand-picked, matured in oak on its lees and bottled without filtration, the aim being minimal interference.

This example is from South Africa. Stellenbosch, to be exact. It is produced by The Bergkelder, a "wine centre", which seems to be a combination winery, shop, museum and cellar. Fleur du Cap is the brand name of the wines they produce.

The nose and palate are initially dominated by lime. The nose isn't particularly forthcoming actually. I'm finding this wine hard to describe. The palate is very rich, not sweet but rich. Lemon furniture polish, with a long lingering finish. I usually find Semillon a bit strange, but I think that's part of its charm, and I keep coming back for more. It's great with food - tonight it was parma ham-wrapped chicken stuffed with Boursin.

It's not cheap (£10.99, £8.79 as part of a mixed case of 12), but it's not over-priced. Good Semillon falls in this price category.

Unfiltered Semillon 2008
Stellenbosch, South Africa
£10.99 (£8.79 as part of a mixed case of 12)

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