Sémillon is a plump white grape popular in Bordeaux and Australia. It is used to make both dry and sweet wines, with its most popular incarnation as the base for Sauternes. It is thick-skinned and relatively easy to cultivate with a good resistance to disease and a propensity to ripen early. Outside of Australia’sHunter Valley, Sémillon typically produces wines that are low in acid with a round mouth, and as a result is commonly blended with more assertively aromatic and flavorful varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc. You can use Wine Enthusiast’s online Buying Guide to find the top-rated Sémillon among our extensive Sémillon wine reviews and easy-to-use database. Our Sémillon reviews will give you a general idea what to expect from wines made from Sémillon, and will help you find one that best suits your needs.
Washington’s Klipsun Vineyard is the source for this Sauternes-style dessert wine. Harvested in late November at 38.5 brix, then aged for 18 months in a mix of new and second year barrels, it is a thoroughly delicious and decadent dessert wine. Lush and thick without being fat or tiring, it’s bursting with butterscotch and candied tropical fruits.
De Bortoli’s Noble One is as good as ever in 2007, offering intense botrytis, dried apricots, honey and bergamot in a sweetly unctuous style. Think of a Sauternes, but with more sugar and less alcohol. It should age well for 10 or more years.
If this isn’t among the tastiest, most exciting American-made white wines, then what is? An absolute grand slam. Huge stone-fruit and banana aromas and flavors. From an excellent vintage, it’s wonderful to drink as an aperitif. Gorgeous oak notes from the barrel fermentation. (With 11% Sauvignon Blanc.) Best Buy.
This is an almost magically delicious, ripe, alcoholic wine which packs plenty of punch but carries its weight with confidence and authority. Walla Walla’s great 1999 grapes seem to effortlessly achieve an unbelievable balance of ripe, tropical fruit and firm, bracing acids. Add eight months in a mix of new and second-year French oak and you have a star. Editors’ Choice.
Another classic edition of L’Ecole’s best Semillon. Big, fresh, and bursting with ripe and delicious fruit. Green apples and pears and bright, toasty tropical flavors are perfectly meshed, and the wine fills out in the mid-palate; then sails into a thoroughly satisfying, lingering finish.
The discovery of some wines could be caled epiphanic. Your first sip of this Sémillon may qualify as such. An exquisite balance between rich, round fruit flavors and a zesty, clean minerality gives this Cape Point offering the kind of intriguing character that sets it apart from the pack. A full, complex midpalate and beautiful tropical fruit flavors are lifted by…
A rich, round, succulent take on Sauternes, made with gorgeous Yakima Valley fruit. Flavors are lush and ripe, mixing tropical fruits, apricot, banana, caramel and honey. It’s full-bodied and complete, without heat or volatility to mar the long finish.
This wine’s deep brassy color suggests honey, and the aromas of honey, dried apricots, vanilla and baking spices reinforce that suggestion of sweetness. On the palate, it delivers honeyed richness and a complex array of flavors balanced by decent acidity. It remains the standard bearer for Australian botrytis wines.