2008 Thomas Wines Braemore Vineyard Semillon (Hunter Valley, Australia):
Australian Semillon from Hunter Valley really don't seem to get the love they deserve. One possible reason they may not have the recognition here in the states because Americans can't see the value in spending $35-60 on a bottle of Semillon (unless a wine critic gives it 95 points), and liquor stores may not want to try to sell them. But if you get a chance to try a sampling of Hunter Valley Semillons you'll stumble onto an intriguing grape varietal.
Some say you need to age your Semillons to bring out the toasted almond and honey notes, while others argue Semillons need to be drunk young to show off the hints of fresh lemon zest and fresh mown grass.
With a wine like Thomas Wines Braemore Vineyard (or any of Andrew Thomas aka "Thomo's" wines) you pretty much can't go wrong. Drink it young or drink it old. Either way you'll discover a beautifully aromatic experience produced by one of Hunter Valley's up and coming buzz-worthy producers. Lovers of Tyrrell's Vat 1 or Brokenwood will want to add this one to their repertoire right away.
The 2008 offering is still youthful but will age gracefully. Right out of the glass (which was sitting on the table 2 ft. away) I get a menagerie of granny smith green apple, meyer lemon zest and a flinty dried apricot. That stimulating citrus nose was woven together with a thread of sweet white corn and gooseberry.
On the palate I immediately started imagining foods that I wanted to eat that would compliment the lively lime, apricot and saffron notes that kept unfolding. There's outstanding length and seamless balance almost as if the wine were a glass ball sitting on your palate. This wine will definitely be a stunner for the next 10 years.
Here I had a chance to sit down with Thomo in 2011 to talk about Hunter Valley Semillons:
If you've read this far and want to try the wines, you're in luck! Thomas Wines just hit the U.S. market and are imported by H. Mercer Imports out of L.A. Visit them on Twitter here to ask when and where the wines will be available.