By Franz Scheurer
Arguable Australian Semillon is a world leader. Very few producers around the world produce a 100% Semillon and even fewer in the classic Australian style. Ears prick up at the mention of an aged Hunter Semillon and pulses quicken at the thought of a fresh, young and vibrant example of this wonderful wine.
The perception is that Hunter Semillon is the king, the one to beat and to emulate. However, I found it very interesting that at a dinner at Mark Best’s Restaurant ‘Marque’, not so long ago, the star of the show, both in the young and aged category, was a Peter Lehmann Barossa Semillon. Now I adore a good old Hunter Semillon just as much as most and was certain that I’d pick maybe a VAT 1 as my favourite, but alas, I too voted for the Peter Lehmann. Another interesting twist was that everyone agreed that the Margaret River offerings were far too herbaceous when young and almost unpalatable compared to the others on offer, but became very quaffable indeed once aged, and with some of that greenness lost.
In the meantime, I have discovered Tim Adams’ Semillon from the Clare. Now I have read countless reviews from very notable and no doubt far more knowledgeable wine gurus than myself, that clearly state that Clare is Riesling territory with its very fair share of good reds, but for heavens sake, do not bother with Semillon or Chardonnay. Well… I disagree. At least with Tim Adams’ offering.
Yes, it is different. It has been made the same way for a long time and, despite a very small following, the guys at Tim Adams have stuck to their guns and produced a superb wine, which they like themselves. They source the fruit from the Crawley, Sheppard and Adams families and, following crushing, the juice is left on skins for 12 hours to maximise flavour extraction from the grapes. Fermentation is carried out in new oak hogsheads, 67% American and 33% French. After fermentation, the wine stays in oak for 5 months.
The wine has intense tropical fruit characters with an addition of white peaches and added depth from the extensive wood treatment. This is a very elegant wine that is superbly balanced, ready to drink for those who like it young and perfectly able to sit in your cellar, mature and mellow into a wonderfully balanced, soft, oak-driven, fruit forward, but substantial, aged wine.
It is different to anything else out there and I applaud Tim Adams, the wine maker of this wine, for the tenacity to persist with something that he obviously very much believes in.
For orders call:
Tim Adams Wines 08 8842 3550