Hunter Valley, Australia lies just east of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales. It is by all accounts too warm and too wet to grow wine grapes, and yet, they've been growing them for almost two centuries. One grape for which Hunter Valley is most famous is Semillon, which comes originally from Bordeaux where it is used in the Bordeaux white blend. In Hunter Valley, however, the grape is used as a single varietal.
Hunter Valley is wet enough to botrytis the Semillon grapes, creating a sweet dessert wine. Botrytis is a fungus, also known as noble rot that absorbs the water content of the grape, leaving the fruit with a high sugar content, and very focused flavors. Botrytised grapes make excellent dessert wines.
Hunter Valley, also grows Semillon grapes to ferment into a dry table wine. From Tyrrell's Wines, the result is a crisp, light, young, wine with great lemon aromas. It is delightful on a warm summer night, the perfect palate cleanser after all this smoke we've been living with in Reno. This wine can be opened, now, but it will, also, age beautifully. After a few years, that lemony lightness becomes rich and complex. Total Wine has Tyrrell Wines Semillon available for $12.99.