Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines.
With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano. Some os Australia's greatest wines stem from the grapes grown in the Hunter Valley, where many of the word's longest-lived Sémillon are made. When conbines with oak, a toasty and creamy dimension is added. An oak-aged Sémillon reveals an amazing breadth of flavour and texture, with notes of burnt toast and mineral on the nose.
Sweet Sémillon with a wonderful honeyed character are produced in Sauternes, where botrytis alters the complexion of the grapes by concentrating the sugar and thus intensifying levels of sweetness. Opulent in style, flavours of apricot, peach, butterscotch, and honey are achieved, and these are balanced with undepinning acidity. Australia's golden late-harvested wines also contribute to this style.
Dry Sémillon are made in Australia, Chile, Bordeaux, New Zealand, South Africa, and California; while sweet Sémillon originate in Australia, Sauternes and Barsac in France, and in California.
Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California.
This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards. Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.
The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.
An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.
This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.