90

2007 Mount Pleasant Cellar Aged Elizabeth Semillon, Hunter Valley

( £14.95-£17.80, 11%, Berry Bros & Rudd, Hedonism, Slurp )

Not many white wines age as wll as Hunter Valley Semillon and this is well up to speed, as its haul of medals (plastered all over the front label) testifies. It’s just starting to shift into another gear, developing the toasty notes that are so typical of the style. Refreshing, waxy and taut with custard, honeysuckle and citrus peel notes. Long and satisfying.

Drinking window: 2015-20Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, White, Semillon
91

2012 Clos Floridene, Graves, Bordeaux

( £17.99, 13%, The Co-operative )

Denis Dubordieu deserves his reputation as one of the best white winemakers in Bordeaux. Clos Floridène is a case in point, a textbook blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a dash of Muscadelle that benefits from 25% barrel fermentation. Tangy, fresh and grapefruity, this has subtle oak, good texture and minerally flourish. 

Drinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
92

2012 Pegasus Bay, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Waipara Valley

( £15, 14.5%, New Generation Wines )

There aren’t many producers around the world who can make Bordeaux blends to rival the stuff that’s made in Pessac-Léognan, but Pegasus Bay is one of them. This delicately oaked, full-bodied cuvée is rich and sumptuous, with waxy, herbal flavours, a hint of vanilla and a tangy, refeshing finish. On past form, this should age well too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon

Blank de Blanc

by Simon Woolf
Browsing the wine selection at Bordeaux airport is revealing. Unsurprisingly, the grand vins of the Médoc, St. Emilion and Pomerol take up most of the shelf space, with some more...
93

2007 McGuigan, Semillon Bin 9000, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

( £14, 11%, Tesco Fine Wine )

The sort of wine that seems to win medals in its sleep, this Semillon is something of a wine nerd’s white. It’s well priced, especially given its quality, and will age beautifully in bottle, too. Smoky, leesy, waxy and toasty with underlying citrus fruit ping, no apparent oak and a lovely lighthness of touch. 

Drinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, White, Semillon
92

2010 Harvey Nichols Sauternes, Sauternes, Bordeaux

( £15 per half, 14%, Harvey Nichols )

Any retailer that sources its Sauternes from Château Coutet (in Barsac) is aiming high and this is a delicious sticky from a vintage that is better known for reds than whites in Bordeaux. This is richer and sweeter than Coutet often tends to be, but it’s still a treat, with flavours of pineapple and barley sugar, medium acidity, subtle oak and rich, honeyed mouthfilling complexity. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, Sweet, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
90

2012 Château de France, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux

( N/A, 14% )

There’s been a lot of talk about the 2013 Bordeaux whites being the vintage’s silver lining, but it’s important to remember that there are some appealing older vintage on the market that are already in bottle, this being a case in point. This is quite an opulent Pessac-Léognan, exhibiting flavours of guava and melon, subtle oak, a touch of gunflint and a fat, lees-influenced finish. 

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: 91-95, France, White, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon

Spend less, drink better

by Matt Walls
The UK is a nation of bargain hunters. There are more pound shops on Britain’s high streets than bookstores. When it comes to wine we’re no different; most of what...
91

2012 Clos Floridene, Graves, Bordeaux

( £16.99, 13%, The Co-operative )

Great to see a supermarket taking a punt on a top white Graves, especially one made by the brilliant Denis Dubourdieu. This lightly oaked blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 47% Semillon and 3% Muscadelle is delicious, boasting notes of struck match, vanilla, pink grapefruit and subtle gooseberry. It’s the kind of wine that ages really well, too. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, White, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
92

2007 Waitrose Sauternes, Château Suduiraut

( £16.99 down to £12.74 per half, 14%, Waitrose )

It’s something of a coup for Waitrose to source their own label Sauternes from the First Growth property of Château Suduiraut. The result is a very classy dessert wine with the emphasis on botrytis-affected Semillon with a dash of Sauvignon Blanc. The oak is deftly handled here, adding a spicy nuance to the flavours and aromas of honey, beeswax and crème brûlée. The intense sweetness is balanced by just the right amount of acidity. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, France, Sweet, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
90

2011 Finest* Boranup Sauvignon/Semillon, Western Australia

( £9.99 down to £7.49, 14%, Tesco )

Janice McDonald is one of the best white winemakers in Western Australia, with a particularly adept touch with Bordeaux varieties. This Sauvignon/Semillon two step has no oak, so it’s very much a New World rather than a Graves (Bordeaux) style, but that’s part of its appeal. Aromatic and herbal, with palate-tingling acidity and fresh grapefruit and gooseberry notes. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Australia, White, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
91

2012 Finest* Denman Vineyard Semillon, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

( £9.99 down to £7.49, 10%, Tesco )

This cool climate, low alcohol white from the Hunter Valley is consistently one of the stars of Tesco’s range. Its crisp, lazer-like acidity is offset by a little sweetness (although you don’t notice it), but it’s still leafy and green, with notes of dill and green olive and a tangy finish. Like Hunter Semillons, this wine ages extremely well. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, Australia, White, Semillon