After just over two weeks in the Hawaiian warmth I’m back at the desk and into the grind today, labouring through Sydney’s chilly mid-winter with sunshine but a dream.
Despite trying hard, I drank very little wine while I was away, purely because the selection was so bad. Outside of fine dining, there was, lots of out-of-condition wine by the glass, and middling selections by the bottle. So I ended up drinking loads of beer (Honolulu Beerworks Hop Island IPA and Maui Brewing Double Overhead DIPA were favourites) and cocktails.
The singular wine highlight of my trip then was not a cool Cali Chardonnay like I expected, but a wine that came along in the suitcase – the 2011 Tyrrell’s Stevens Semillon.
I bought a six pack of this Sem last year for less than $30, which is a frankly mad price given the absolute quality. At seven years old it is just starting to enter the drinking zone too – it’s still a young, citrus/apple young wine. But those edges have been softened beautifully, bottle age adding subtle layers of richness into the mix. Low alcohol, blindingly fresh and yet not harsh, it’s just a delicious drink.
Green straw coloured, the nose is still emerged in citrus/apple land but it flirts with something richer. It’s youthful, but bottle age width adds a subtle extra layer that is just perfect, the acid grippy but in a natural, citrussy mode. A very model of the joy of a youngish, bottle-aged Semillon from a warm vintage.
I’ve long thought that Stevens presents as a bargain package. Perfect with a poke bowl on the beach too. Best drinking: Now and it will live forever. 18.7/20, 95/100. 11%, $35ish. Would I buy it? Glad that there are 5 bottles left.