Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon 2005 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
11.2%, Screwcap, $45
Glad to have a few more of these 05 Vat 1 Sems in the cellar – about as good as Hunter Valley Sem gets.
The 2005 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon is a blend of the Short Flat vineyard (planted in 1927 and located across the road from the Tyrrell’s winery) and the Johhno’s vineyard (planted circa 1908). As is the norm for Vat 1, the fruit was handpicked, crushed and then fermented cool, spending a short time on gross lees before racking to tank for 5 months before bottling.
It’s an unquestionably ripe Vat 1 too, from a warm year known more for powerful reds than classic Semillon. Yet that season ultimately just translates into a more powerful Semillon – and a satisfying one at that. I had it next to a 2008 Billaud-Simon Montee de Tonnerre 1er Cru Chablis and it blew the Chablis out of the water in both structure, drinkability and pure exuberance. The Vat 1 is only 2/3rds of the Chablis price to boot.
Rich bottle development, sour acid and no shortage of concentration – it’s a wonderful combo really, the clean, sublime and lengthy finish the very icing on the cake.
Score: 18.8/20 96/100
Would I buy it? I want more.