Tricky Juggling Act Creates Great Semillon

By David Ellis from vintnews.

Tricky Juggling Act Creates Great Semillon We never cease to be amazed at how winemakers can so often turn adversity in the vineyard to success in the bottle, the latest example coming our way in the form of a 2015 Single Vineyard Dairy Hill Semillon from the Hunter Valley’s Briar Ridge.

This very rewarding drop came from a vintage that winemaker Gwyn Olsen now somewhat casually shrugs off as “challenging,” testifying what anyone who knows her will agree, that Gwyn has never been one to shy away from a challenge. “2015 was characterised by very dry conditions at the start of the growing season,” she says. “Followed by those infuriating Hunter summer storms, prior to and leading into vintage, and making for some judicious picking decisions.

“But the juggling act in the vineyard paid off, resulting in low-cropping but fruit driven, precise and complex wines.” And that includes that Dairy Hill Semillon with beautiful citrusy kaffir lime and lemongrass flavours so typical of Semillon from the Hunter’s Mount View region."

Little wonder it’s a multi-trophy winner, and a wine to enjoy now or any time up to around the mid-2020’s. At $35 it’s a perfect match with all forms of seafood.

One to note: a variety that’s played a key role in the development of Tasmania’s modern-day wine industry is Pinot Noir, and just released from Riversdale Estate in the island State’s south is a most delightful 2015 Roaring 40s Pinot Noir – so named after the howling westerly winds that play such a significant role in the make-up of Tasmania’s climatic conditions.

Riversdale’s owners Ian and Wendy Roberts planted their Pinot Noir a quarter of a century ago, and have their wine made for them by contract makers Frogmore Creek Wines just a couple of k’s down the road from their vineyard. The 2015 Roaring 40s Pinot Noir is all about rich, smooth chocolaty and black cherry fruit flavours, and equally rewarding with (what else from Tasmania?) poached salmon, or a beef bourguignon.

Great value at $26 online at or via their cellar door.