Emma's Cottage Vineyard Hunter Valley Late Harvest Semillon
In addition to its vineyards (seven acres of Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho, Merlot, Pinot
Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc) Emma's cottage in Australia's Hunter Valley can also rent
you a comfortable cottage; the valley is a popular vacation destination for the citizens of
Sydney, just two hours to the south. The vineyard produces a dry Semillon as well as this
sweet late harvest dessert variety.
The wine seems to have captured the essence of the Hunter Valley sun itself; it is a deep
amber, and yet strikingly lucid. The nose is interesting: pear, peach, cinnamon, nutmeg and
orange blossom, all melding into an abiding fragrance. The wine is medium sweet, not
cloying by any means, with acidity that fits nicely into the fruit. I tasted orange, mango, fresh
apricot and a little raisin with touches of baking spice. The makers themselves suggest that
this Semillon will function both as an aperitif and as a dessert wine, and I agree.
Verdict: A Pleasure
I learned to play golf in the Hunter Valley, though my main memory is of a trio of kangaroos bounding across the fairway. The wine people there have done nice things with Semillon, a grape that deserves better press.
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman