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Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard ion Botrytised Semillon

Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard Selection Botrytised Semillon Wine Details
Price: $134.00 per bottle

Description: Semillon was planted on the Chalk Hill Estate in 1981, primarily to blend with Sauvignon blanc. The site, however, was chosen to take advantage of Semillon`s susceptibility to botrytis, or "noble rot". This block is planted to 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon blanc, as in Sauternes, and lies at the bottom of a north-facing slope, sheltered by the hills to the east and west. There is little morning or afternoon sun, and moisture burns off slowly late in the season. After the grapes are fully ripe, light rainfall encourages botrytis development. When this is followed by a period of warm, dry weather the fruit is dessicated, concentrating the acid and sugar. This rare combination of events occurred in 1997, and a small lot of Semillon and Sauvignon blanc was finally harvested in late October at nearly 40° Brix.

Varietal Definition
A thin skinned grape producing wines of high extract and flavour but soft acidity. In France it combines with Sauvignon Blanc to make the white wines of Bordeaux, most notably the sweet dessert wines of Sauternes and Barsac. Its thin skin leaves it susceptible to the fungus botrytis* the much sought after 'noble rot' in these sweet wine regions. As a varietal it has fared best in Australia, notably the Hunter Valley, where it produces well-rounded wines with lots of tropical fruits and honeyed tones. Here too it is blended with Chardonnay and oak aged to give an added dimension.
Sauvignon Blanc:
Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California — at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety — and often assumes the moniker ‘Fume Blanc’. This popular synonym, credited to Napa’s Robert Mondavi, derives from the grape’s historic home of Pouilly in France’s Upper Loire Valley, where Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant varietal and goes locally by the name of ‘Blanc Fumé’. When treated with respect and afforded suitable growing conditions, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the wine world’s darlings. Steely, racy acidity, green, gooseberry fruit, asparagus and a grassy, herbaceous character characterize dry wines made from this grape.
Sauterne is an intentional misspelling of the name of the famed wine region Sauternes. The term is typically used on low-quality wines produced in the U.S. from native grapes. Completely unlike Sauternes, it can be either white or pink, and ranges from nearly dry to sweet.


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