2007 ‘Hell Hole’ Semilon

HH-SEM-2007[1]Wine Notes

Region: Hunter Valley

Background: The name Pokolbin as legend has it, is derived from the early Hungarian migrant settlers to the area and means ‘hot as hell’ or ‘hell hole’, referring to the hot, dry and sometimes inhospitable summers that regularly top 45º Celcius.

Fruit Source: The wine is made from fruit harvested off a mature Semillon block on the low yielding, Howard family ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin.

Fermentation & Maturation: Handpicked fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled under screwcap in June 2007.

Winemakers Comments: 2007 was a very warm vintage which caused fruit to ripen very quickly and quite early. This fruit was picked mid January at full phenological ripeness and we were mindful to pick as soon as the fruit was ripe to retain as much acid as possible and keep the baume as low as possible.

A very pale colour with vibrant floral lemon/lime on the nose. The palate has great fruit intensity and length of flavour for a young wine with a backbone of racy acidity that will see it improve for many years to come. 11.0% alc.

Cellaring: Medium to long term. 10 years.

What the experts say

“Aromas of lemon blossom, lemon/lime and a slight grassiness. It smells very pure and quite aromatic. On the palate intense zesty fruit with pure lime juice flavours and clean crisp acidity. Outstanding balance and length of flavour. Fresh and beautiful. You can drink this now or cellar it for further complexity.”

Rated : 94 Points.

Gary Walsh – Winorama – June 2007

“This wine was straight out of the fridge on the second day and the aromatics were already pumping, again. You just cannot hold a great wine down – amazing stuff indeed. Gary has recently said that he judges young Semillons by balance and length of flavour, and I think that is sound logic. And it must be said that this wine has both of those characteristics in spades. An awesome nose, lemon and lime, slate and just a shaving of citrus peel. The palate showed lemony acid, tight and refreshing, dry with some slightly grassy characters, soft acid and a long long finish. It is not simple; it is pure. Pure pleasure. Beautiful balance and length. Top notch stuff”.

Rated : 95 Points.

Lincoln Scott – Winorama – July 2007.

“Immaculate expression of variety and region. Typicity up to its gills – and a single vineyard wine to boot. I’m in the midst of writing a book called (provocatively?) Why The French Hate Us: The Real Story of Australian Wine – and it’s wines like this that I’m going to ram forward. This is pure, piercing, lingering and lovely. It’s cutely zesty and acidic, as a wine of this quality should be. It will be gorgeous in ten years – as, with oysters, it is gorgeous right now”. Drink: 2008-2019.

95 points.

Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front – July 2007.

Fantastic aromas, classically varietal in nature. Fresh and invigorating, limes, limes and limes abound. Ripe resplendently lively and fresh. Lemon citrus follows. A gloriously composed wine with a clean crisp finish. Beautifully balanced and superbly drinkable. Really spot on stuff. Try with stuffed squid. Drink to 2020. About $25.

95/100 – Superb.

Paul Ippolito – www.paulippolito.com.au – October 2007

“Whether or not the Hunter Valley is a “hell hole” due to its summer heat is open for debate but it’s certainly a great place to grow semillon. This shows lemon, stonefruit and lanolin-like regional traits, and its palate is ripe, long and intense. First-class. Food: Salt and pepper calamari. Aging: Drink now to 2012″.

Sally Gudgeon & Ralph Kyte-Powell – Sunday Life ‘Uncorked’ – 18th November 2007

“This is the new breed of Hunter semillon from the Eather family – whose winemaking roots go back 150 years. A single vineyard white with intense, mouth-puckering lime and lemon citrus flavours, tight structure and taut, racy acidity. Age-worthy”.

Peter Forrestal – Qantas Magazine – December 2007

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