Keith Tulloch Botrytis Semillon
Called a "Sticky" in Australia this delicious Sauternes-style wine is a bright golden yellow, with vibrant green freshness. Beautifully concentrated with velvety, mouth-filling flavor notes of honeyed apricots, kumquat and crystallized clementine. The palate is sweet and rich with concentrated exotic fruit layers offset by deliciously bright and refreshing acidity that cuts through the sugar.
This wine, a 2012 Botrytis Semillon from Keith's Hunter Valley winery was rated 95 points by James Halliday (the 'Robert Parker' of Australia) and was sold out immediately it became available. Luckily we were able to save enough just for our Bill's Cellar Club.
Botrytis Cinerea, (or Noble Rot) is a little fungus that concentrates the sugars in grapes on the vine. It's a temperamental little thing, requiring very specific weather conditions to develop. The damp, dewy mornings, typical of a few very specific sites in the Hunter Valley, and warmer, drying afternoons are required to produce world-class sweet wines - like this one.
Amazing as an aperitif or try it with a Camembert cheese and a selection of crackers. Serve chilled 45°F to 50°F in small glasses or in a chardonnay glass.
Don't like sweet wine - wait for it - take a small sip, hold it and swallow slowly. Watch how the acid in the wine moves across the palate offsetting the sugary sweetness and leaving you with the same glow that the wine shows on the glass.
Twelve months in barrel has added subtle perfumed vanilla aromas, and contributed extra elements of spicy aromatic harmony, silky flavor softness, and sweeter oak mouth-feel to the finish. Delightful “crème brulee” toffee characters are just beginning to develop, and will continue adding more depth, complexity, charm and richness as the wine matures.
2012 was a fantastic year and this wine sold out immediately at the Cellar Door in Australia.
Made from late harvested, super-ripe Semillon fruit with natural Botrytis Cinerea (Noble Rot), the vines are cordon cut to concentrate the fruit sweetness and preserve the fresh natural acid. Hand picking with three sweeps through the vineyard selecting only the ripest berries. The grapes are then crushed, pressed, and chilled then returned to the press to dissolve the crystallized sugars from the skins for extra intensity and flavor weight. This wine was matured for 8 months in new and one year old French barrels adding background vanilla allure and length.