Monday 18 July 2011


SOMETHING new to enjoy with
pan-fried whiting – and just $12.99.


David Ellis

THE Hunter Valley's Neil McGuigan is without doubt Australia's master-craftsman when it comes to Semillon, and he's now both surprised and delighted his legions of fans by coming up with a virtually total new style that he's labelled The Semillon Blanc.

Because while it's got Semillon's forward lemony/lime flavours, Neil's actually enhanced those vibrant citrus characters, and also coaxed out some wonderfully delicious tropical fruit flavours as well by blending-in fruit from the Murray and Barossa Valleys as well as his home-town Hunter.

It's resulted in an aromatic, flavoursome and crisp wine that could almost be likened to Australian White Burgundy, and which at just 11.5% alcohol is perfect with seafoods such as pan-fried whiting, or to purely enjoy on its own.

GREAT Australian sparkler for
when its time to party.
Neil came up with the McGuigan Wines' 2011 The Semillon Blanc after a UK wine writer asked him "What's the next big thing to come out of the Australian wine industry?" Not having an answer, he invited his winemaking team to join him in creating that "next big thing."

It's a super result, but we have one misgiving: while the $12.99 price tag is great for consumers, does it under-value this wine's uniqueness and quality?

ONE FOR LUNCH: VICTORIA's Domaine Chandon Sparkling Winemaker, Glenn Thompson drew on fruit from no less than eight cool-climate areas in Victoria and South Australia to achieve exactly what he set out to do with the just-released Chandon Vintage Brut Rosé 2008.

A blend of 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot Noir, that included a small percentage of Pinot Noir fermented on skins to give the wine its distinct colour, this is a real party-food drop with mouth-filling berry flavours, toasty characters, some savoury spice and a fine creaminess. Good value at $39.95.


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