Wednesday, November 23, 2011


- Lower Hunter Valley, NSW
- $25-$37
- Screwcap
- 11.0%alc

Made from a single vineyard planted in 1933, the Belford was the last of Tyrrell's semillon to be picked in 2006. Now 5 years old, this 2006 Belford proudly wears 4 gold medals on its bottle, covering 4 different years between 2006 and 2010, but that amount pales in comparison to the 20+ shiny things flamboyantly flashed around by the 2005 Vat 1.

Lively as a drunk teen at schoolies but much fresher, with classically regional, mineral infused lemon/lime zest and quartz aromas stringing through emerging, savoury notes of lightly toasted white bread and flint, the 2006 Belford appears a barely adolescent semillon, which is absolutely revelling in its aromatic vitality and clarity right now. Moderately juicy flavours of green melons, pear and citrus introduce the palate, before a smooth, waxy complexity joins its mid-palate announcement of grassy/herbal tones to move the wine into a long, bright finish sparked by a penetrative and succulent, yet fairly ripe Hunter acidity.

ü+ Although not set for the super long term, I can still see the 2006 Belford gaining wonderfully textural, beeswax-like complexity over the medium term. It's well worth a look for the cellar, so long as there's not a 2005 HVD (94pts) sitting next to it in the bottle shop (as I saw). Drink to 2018.
92 points

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