Friday, January 28, 2011


- Lower Hunter Valley, NSW
- $20-$35
- Screwcap
- 11.5%alc

Much like the single vineyard Steven's and Belford Semillons, Tyrrell's HVD (vines planted 1908) is a tireless over performer (especially at 20 bucks!), whether the requirements call for something to drink now or something to cellar with confidence. Strangely, it seems like only yesterday the HVD carried a retail tag closer to $50....

Almost looking like it was bottled yesterday, the 2005 HVD initially reveals a nose seemingly stuck in a bad place between youthful vitality and bottle aged complexity, but with a few deep breaths it opens up like a spring flower, shooting forth lemon/lime citrus and apple charged (and I mean charged) aromas laced with a pleasingly herbal, tobacco-like expression of its melon fruit. The palate introduces itself as rather round and smooth but its penetrative extension is perfectly pitched and completely up to task. Its simultaneously powerful, soft and fluffy impression of pure and vibrant, somewhat primary Hunter fruit pushes on with the drive of a sports car, moving to a truly long finish with a chalky, glistening extract of mouth puckering acids that make for an assertive and edgy, yet charming driver. There may be a hint of straw or even toast evident at the climax, but it's pretty hard to look past the HVD's texture, acid structure and persistence; all expressed in the classical style that's only possible in the Hunter.

ü+ Brilliant. For $20 (check Melbourne Street Fine Wine) the 2005 HVD is an absolute steal. In this Summer of Riesling, all of a sudden I feel like making a change to my own personal Summer of Semillon.... Drink to 2019.
94 points


  1. Nice review of a fine wine. The 2005 Stevens Sem is a similar bargain. I have had bottles of the Vat 1 from 98 and 2001 that are still in the 'bad place' you effectively describe (yet open up), such is Hunter Semillon's ability to age for a long time (yet in the better examples retain its primary flavours for a fair while) - as if it does not want to grow up and become toasty! :-)

    I maintain that no white wine goes better with freshly schucked Oysters than a young bottle of semillon - maybe we can match this wine with some pan fried chicken breast dusted in mild spices (or some such) :-)



  2. Jeez, now you're turning me on Brown! :)

    I must admit that young Hunter semillon is very rare throughout Adelaide's good restaurants (bottle-aged Vat 1, ILR and Lovedale pop up a bit though) so my experience with Hunter semillon and freshly shucked oysters is minimal to say the least (fizz, riesling and perhaps the odd Guinness tends to work for me at home ;) . Rest assured Brown, your comment has put the combination to the top of my 'must match' list.

    Cheers mate!

    Chris P