Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon (Hunter Valley)

You normally see this wine in bottle shops as a 5 year old cellar release, so I nabbed this when I saw it the other day.

Very young Semillon often doesn’t provide a lot of drinking pleasure, and the less than great examples I often think are akin to drinking water with a squeeze of lemon. Generally speaking greatness and drinking pleasure for Hunter Semillon comes with some time in the cellar.

2010 Hunter Semillons might be touch different however. I tasted the 2010 Tyrrell’s Semillons a few weeks back and found them to be richer and more expressive than I would have expected. This 2010 Elizabeth follows the same trend.

If I’d smelled this blind when just out of the fridge I reckon I would have picked it as a Riesling. It initially has a very riesling-like floral and citrus nose. Once warmed up a touch it revealed its origins more clearly adding in some subtle tropical notes. It drinks pretty well now with a nice balance between its acidity and citrus flavours on the one hand, and rich honey-like flavours through the mid-palate on the other. It possibly comes up a touch short on the finish, but as a wine that you can typically pick up for $10-$15, it’s a very minor quibble. 3.5 Stars for now and a “+” for where it might well be in 5-10 years time. A lovely Elizabeth.


RRP: ?
ABV: 11.5%



hazzyk said...

Uh oh, wouldn't be suprised if this presaged a hike in the price of the special-museum-release 5yo Elizabeth and the beginning of mcwilliams marketing of semillon as a young fresh sauv alternative, as Tesco's in the UK seems to be doing. Stock up on aged lizzy now.

Red said...

Yeah not sure what's caused this change, and whether it signals a change in marketing direction for the wine, or whether its perhaps more specific to this vintage's approachability. Any thoughts or comments from others on this would be good to hear.

Chris Plummer said...

Yeah, this is the first I've heard of a 2010 Lizzy but I wouldn't be surprised if hazzyk's right and the move is made to tackle the 1 year old white/savvy drinking market. It is a much bigger market within its modest price range isn't it? Currently, who else is really competing against Elizabeth in the large scale sub-$15 bottle aged Hunter semillon class? Not too many if any I imagine.

In fact, how many other large scale sub-$15 bottle aged whites are there in Australia? Has Elizabeth cornered this market already? And now looking for more?

Sorry, I've actually raised more questions then I've answered :)

Anyway, what this piece did do for me Red was make me glad that people like you do use vintage dates. Could you imagine going to a restaurant tonight, one which doesn't display vintage dates on its wine list, ordering an Elizabeth, and being brought out a 2010? I'd be shocked! (but I'd probably still drink it!)

Chris P

Red said...

More questions indeed. The Tahbilk Marsanne and Houghton White Classic would I guess be its competitors in the sub-$15 that are ageworthy, though they are typically released young. Sadly, all three wines are largely underappreciated.

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