12 December 2019
by Jess Ruciack
It’s always handy to have something sweet in the fridge. And whilst our Golden Semillon is sweet, it is balanced by a great line of acid keeping it from being cloying (too sweet). As Karli likes to say, “It’s full of delicious fruit with a perfect acid balance at the finish to allow it to leave a clean, crisp mouthfeel.”
We had to survive a number of months earlier this year without any Golden Semillon available in Cellar Door – we sold out of the previous vintage before the 2019 ready. But fear no longer, we’re excited to let you know that the 2019 vintage is now available for you to pop into your wine rack/fridge.
What is Golden Semillon? And how do you make it so sweet?
Often in Cellar Door we get asked if we’ve added sugar. No, we don’t – we just use the sugars that are naturally occurring in the grapes!
A sweet wine is classed as having 120+ g/L of residual sugar. This relates to the natural sugars that are left after fermentation (quick science lesson – yeast converts sugar into alcohol during the fermentation process, so at the end of fermentation there is generally always some sugars remaining).
Some sweet wines are late harvest, or Sauternes / Botrytis style (sometimes called Nobel Rot) or ice wines.
Our Golden Semillon is made using a cordon cut technique in the vineyard. This means we cut the cordons (the arms of the vine) from which the bunches are still hanging, and leave the grapes on the vine. As there is no longer any sap/water flow to the canes, the sugars and flavours concentrate as the grapes begin to raisin and dehydrate.
We leave the grapes for three weeks before we hand-pick. After crushing, we left the 2019 vintage on skins for three days to help extract all the flavours from the desiccated berries before pressing. Think along the lines of squeezing juice out of sultanas – sweet juice, but not much of it!
What can I pair this sweet, sweet goodness with?
The first thing you should try is using it as an ice cream topping! Yep, you heard me. We like the simplicity of stocking up on some Vanilla dixie cups from Barossa Valley Ice Cream Company, and drizzling our Golden Semillon over the top.
It is the ideal accompaniment to most desserts that you might like to eat. From our Christmas degustation menu, try pairing it with Summer Pudding.
Our Golden Semillon also works well with blue cheese, as the sweetness and acidity pair well with the creamy tartness of the cheese (like you’d put quince paste with a cheese).
Or you might like to do some experimenting and try it with some salty prosciutto or a rich pâté – see if the Golden Semillon provides a balance to the pairing.
The details – 2019 Golden Semillon
Style: Rich, luscious, balanced
Aroma & Palate: Apricots, toffee, honey and citrus/marmalade
Vineyard Source: 100% estate grown, Greenock
Vine Age: 20-34 years
Picking Date: 16 April 2019
Residual Sugar: 145 g/L
Cellaring: Drink now or allow to develop over the next 5-10 years