2023 'Billet Doux' Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
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Traditional mouth-watering, Bordeaux-blanc (Graves) blend of 98% Semillon and 2% Sauvignon Blanc. High acidity Bordeaux Semillons developed from the high salt content of local seafood brought to market by the Pays de Basque fishermen. Aromas of zesty lemon and lime with hints of a tropical character. Fresh, clean lemon and lime with a hint of melon on the palate with a crisp, mouth-watering finish. Not to be confused with a warmer climate Hunter Valley Semillon.
By Richard & Will de Beaurepaire
The vineyard is located above Rylstone in the Central Ranges GI of NSW (40km southeast of Mudgee, 70km northeast of Bathurst). It was planted in 1998 by Richard & Janet de Beaurepaire, with a mixture of Bordeaux, Rhône, and Burgundy varieties with the intention of selling most of the grapes whilst incrementally growing wine production. The decision to plant the vineyard at this location over other established winegrowing regions (including family winemaking operations in the Yarra Valley) was due to the similarity of the terroir to Burgundy – the home of the de Beaurepaire family. The vineyard is in a mountain valley, 150 kilometres from the coast in the Great Dividing Range. It is planted on North facing slopes rising from the Cudgegong River to an altitude of 650m. Geologically, the vineyard is planted on an Ordovician-era (450 MY ago) coral reef with shallow sandy and sandy-loam soils on limestone. The limestone was mined nearby until recently by Kandos Cement. The altitude, distance from ocean and poor heat retention of the soil and limestone, creates an inland continental climate as cool as Central Otago in New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia during the growing season with extreme diurnal variation – late Sept/Oct Budburst, Jan/Feb Veraison and March/April HHHarvest.
Vintage Conditions: 2023 was an exceptionally wet and cool vintage. Ripening was extremely slow for most varieties with harvest being on average 3 weeks later than normal. The result was the achievement of flavour, tannin and acid benchmarks at much lower alcohol levels. Canopy management was critical to manage high disease pressures. White wines in particular excelled in 2023 developing exception floral aromatic profiles.
Harvest: Machine harvested on 23 March 2023 with a baumé of 10.5. Average yield was 6t/ha (~37hl/ha). Semillon solely sourced from 25-year-old A Block (Clone DA16162) vines. Sauvignon Blanc is the only variety we purchase in (all other wines are entirely from our vineyard at Rylstone), and in this case its use is for marketing purposes at 2%.
Vinification: Destemmed, gently pressed whole bunches and berries then fermented in steel tanks. No Malolactic Fermentation (MLF).
Aging: Aged for 7 months in steel tanks prior to bottling. No oak. Lightly fined using Bentonite. Vegan Friendly.
Analysis: pH 3.2, TA 6.4 g/l, 10.7% alcohol
819 cases produced
Aromas of zesty lemon and lime with hints of tropical characters and star anise. The palate has fresh and clean lemon and lime, with a hint of melon and a lingering crisp finish.
Vin et Gastronomie
Beautifully matched with fresh seafood, antipasti and fresh goat’s cheese or grilled scallops served with a dash of lime juice, fresh ginger and coriander. For vegetarians, will work wonders with buffalo mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes, basil and olive oil.
Cellaring Potential: 10 years (2029)
Serving Temperature: 10 degrees C / 50 degrees F