Region: Hunter Valley
Background: The ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red basalt/clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.
Fruit source: A small parcel of Semillon was harvested early from a high block on the Howard’s ‘Somerset’ vineyard in Pokolbin. Fermentation: The fruit was hand picked and fermented in stainless steel tanks.
Maturation: There was no oak maturation with bottling taking place in July 2009 under screwcap. This wine was cellar matured for 5 years prior to release in January 2014.
Winemaker’s comments: The 2009 Hunter Valley vintage was great for both white and red varieties alike. Dry, warm conditions enabled a perfect ripening period with no pressure to harvest prematurely. The trade off was miniscule yields.
Tasting note: Already a glowing green with gold tinges in colour, the transformation into this Semillon’s mature phase has begun. The nose, although not yet toasty, is showing a hint of lanolin and wax. There is plenty of flavour already with nicely balanced acidity binding it altogether.
Cellaring estimate: Medium—Long term. 10+ years
Suggested food match: All fresh and cooked seafood dishes.
What the experts say:
Intensely scented of lemongrass, fresh hay and kumquats with a hint of crushed stones, the 2009 Terracotta Semillon gives plenty of expressive, evolved Semillon flavors supported by crisp acid and finishing with very good persistence. Drink it now to 2022+.
Rated : 91+
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – The Wine Advocate #213 – Jun 2014
“Pale straw-green; the lemongrass, cut grass and mineral characters run through the long palate from start to finish, the first hint of honey starting to make its presence felt on the back-palate and finish. A distinguished semillon at the start of a meaningful life.”
Rated : 94 Points
James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion