A Wine Cellar guide to Sémillon


Sémillon is widely grown in Bordeaux and is the dominant variety in Sauternes’ botrytised sweet wines. It produces fine, dry wines in Australia’s Hunter Valley, though elsewhere it is more commonly used as a blending component. In Bordeaux (and South Africa), it is often partnered with Sauvignon Blanc, adding texture, acidity and body to the blend.

Sweet Sémillon wines typically exude aromas of apricot, peach, and nectarine along with secondary notes such as citrus, nut and honey. Dry Sémillon-based wines offer floral notes, apple, pear, apricot, grass and – when moderately oaked – vanilla and butter.

Whilst Graves in Bordeaux and Hunter Valley are arguably the most important regions for the production of quality dry Sémillon-based wines, the variety is also popular in New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

Synonyms: Malaga, Chevrier, Columbier, Blanc Doux, Wyndruif

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