Wednesday, November 9, 2011


- Lower Hunter Valley, NSW
- $20-$35
- Screwcap
- 12.2%alc

Every time I attend a tasting with a decent line-up of semillon, it bedazzles me how much the Tyrrell's wines stand out. Whether the bottle be Vat 1, Stevens, HVD, Belford or anything with Tyrrell's printed on a white label, these time proven wines are always worth a look.

A real flinty kick rips the 2007 Stevens out of the glass, dragging with it scents of melons, lemon, minerals and pouch tobacco with an emerging savoury edge. It's lively, balanced and clearly opening up on the nose, reflecting Tyrrell's experience with releasing these wines at a good age. Its palate packs some rich, round, almost buttery regional character, revealing classic lemons and lanolin with juicy undercurrents and a grapefruit-like extension, but despite its fine push of flavour, it doesn't really glisten and hold through the finish, lacking the searing acidity and briskness of the very best vintages. Moving line and structure aside for a moment, its richness and taste provide fine drinking for the now.

ü From a very early vintage (third week of January!), Tyrrell's have crafted a higher alcohol than usual semillon (12.2% makes it the most alcoholic Hunter sem I've covered on this website), containing the richness, softness and classic combination of youth and maturity to make it a good early drinker. Drink to 2016.
91 points


  1. Hi Chris, that's also the highest alcohol I've seen in a Hunter Semillon. The Stevens 2002 is drinking beautifully right now. The HVD 2001 is just starting to sing. Such great value for money in these wines.

  2. joshgtv,

    I'm aware social media followers have their Rose Revolution and Summer of Riesling, but this time of year, I (as a South Australian no less!) seem to develop a certain craving for Hunter semillon. In particular the $25-$30 Tyrrell's ones with a couple of years bottle age and some youthful zip.

    I have an 06 Belford on the rack I'm dying to open. I tried it at a tasting about a month ago in a line-up of semillon, and it was wine of the night for me. As you say, amazing we can buy such wines for not much more than $20.

    Chris P