As fantastic as it is to hear names like pinot gris, savagnin, vermentino and gruner veltliner mentioned as potential John Wilkes Booths to sauvignon blanc's Abraham Lincoln, I can't help but feel that stylistically, the ideal grapes for the job have been residing in our vineyards for some time now. One early release, unwooded white that competes at the right price is Brokenwood's Semillon; a wine whose consistency and quality over the last decade or two puts practically every Australian sauvignon blanc to shame.
Perhaps lacking its customary aromatic lift, Brokenwood's 2009 presents a vaguely funky, subdued fruit nose of melon, white fruits and citrus graced by a savoury suggestion of light spice. Opening with surprisingly concentrated and rich, yet clean varietal qualities, the palate drives home a great length of lightly spiced lemon and lime citrus notes, before its zippy finish firmly lays down a vivid, dry extract of sour-citric acidity over persisting undertones of dried tobacco leaf flavour.
ü+ A change in direction from some of Brokenwood's taut, fragant and grassier offerings, this long, agreeable wine possesses more richness than I anticipated. It's a good one though. Drink to 2016.