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david ellis

IF ever there was a white wine that you could say Mother Nature designed to gracefully transform itself from a moth to a butterfly over a few years slumbering in the cellar, it is Hunter Valley Semillon.

McWilliams have for years been masters at this art, withholding their Mount Pleasant wines for at least four years in-bottle before release, and their latest,  the 2004 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon, once again shows the rewards of this practice for we consumers.

“Hunter Valley Semillon is a wine that cannot be replicated anywhere in the world,” says Mount Pleasant Winemaker, Phil Ryan. “It is Australia’s only truly unique wine style and the transformation it undergoes through maturation is what makes it so special.”

This 2004 Semillon has lovely lime, lemon blossom and tropical fruit aromas, tight lemon and lime flavours and good acidity; a great wine now, it will continue to develop beautifully with a few more years cellaring… and interestingly, for the first time it is a Mount Pleasant bottled under screw cap.

Its price tag of $17.99 is quite surprising for a wine of this calibre, so grab a bottle or two and spoil the family with this and sautéed scallops, a creamy sauce with a squeeze of lemon to it and garlic-buttered crispy warm rolls.

ONE FOR LUNCH: THEY may be Little by name but they’re anything than little by stature – we’re talking about the wines of The Little Wine Company, and in particular their just-released 2006 Little Gem Shiraz.

Winemaker Ian Little says a dry 2006 gave one of the best red vintages he’s seen in the Hunter Valley, providing plenty of excellent fruit that allowed him to create a “little gem” of a wine with rich, voluptuous Shiraz dark berry and chocolate flavours, typical spiciness and good tannins. Pay $37 and enjoy with a good roast and baked vegies.




[] BOTTLE-aging before release a grand reward for consumers.

[] LITTLE by name, but not little by stature.

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