Monday, July 25, 2011


- Barossa Valley, SA
- $15-$20
- Screwcap
- 14.0%alc

Torbreck's premier 2009 and 2010 whites present more texture driven style and refinement than one might expect from the brand, especially when they're sat next to Torbreck's rather boisterous offerings of shiraz and shiraz/viognier from 2007 and 2008. However, the partially barrel fermented 2010 Woodcutter's Semillon shows more of the sumptuous, bold nature Torbreck's become famous for, albeit within a white wine.

The Madeira clone used by Torbreck gives a deeper, slightly blush, light yellow/beige colour to the Woodcutter's Semillon, as well as a punchy, practically brassy fragrance of honeysuckle, melons and almond slivers marked by distinctly spicy high notes. For a 1 year old semillon, it sits a long way from the Hunter model, with barely a lemon in sight. In the mouth it states further individuality. It's quite round and creamy; borderline fat up front even, with a juicy glob of honeydew melons and apples extended with length by citric zing and spiky traces of phenolic action, but nothing overly chalky, directive or truly cleansing. When its sumptuous entry trails into a lingering, tangy aftertaste of nashi pear, it actually casts my mind to gris briefly, making this a most unusual semillon by Australian standards. It's certainly not without intrigue, but it might be more confusion than complexity.

O One of the more unique semillons around Australia, but it probably isn't to everyone's tastes (I'm not entirely sure it suits mine). Fortunately, there are two saving graces here; sheer originality and cost. Drink to 2013.
88 points


  1. Do you think you'd enjoy it more if you didn't know it was a Semillon?

  2. That's a good question Jesse. I can certainly tell you that if it was presented to me blind I wouldn't have picked it as a Barossa sem; Rhone white or gris maybe, but I'm not sure I would've garnered anymore enjoyment. What it ultimately lacked for me, as a 1 year old white, was a refreshing finish. Looking back on it, if anything, I could've knocked another point off that score if I wanted to be harsh. . . :)

    The 2010 Barossa semillon I'm drinking tonight though, mmm... delicious!