Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lindemans Hunter Valley Semillon Bin 9255, 1998

You'll see many high-production commercial wines from Lindemans and Penfold on the shelves. Now owned by big conglomerates, both wineries still produce some very good low production wines made essentially the same as they were 25 or 30 years ago. Be on the lookout for four-digit bin numbers from Lindemans. You won't find many, but most will be very good. And the price will not necessarily reflect the quality in the bottle.

Particularly after 12-plus years in the bottle, most tasters would identify an oak-aged quality in this Hunter Valley Semillon. In fact, all of these wines, once known as Hunter Valley Chablis, are unoaked.

Good bright color, medium deep./ The aromas are expansive but fresh and bright for a wine of this age--lime and honey. There is a racy, grassy acidity but with an incredibly full bodied mouth feel. That is Hunter Valley Semillon speaking, and, in this wine, it reminds me of a Montagny from France. The grapes must have been picked rather unripe because the Hunter Valley is a relatively warm area, and the alcohol level in this wine is a low 11.0%. Not a great wine but a very good one, and an Aussie classic.

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