It’s not very often you get to have a 100% Sémillion wine here in the USA. It’s a bit more common elsewhere, but Sémillion is used in the USA mostly as a blending grape. I always like what it has to bring to white blends or Chardonnay so when I saw a 100% option with Penmara 2013 Sémillion The White Ribbon, I snapped it up immediately.
As you recall Sémillon is the main grape used in Sauternes. It can be used to produce a dry wine as well. Hunter Valley wineries in Australia have embraced the style and that is where Penmara 2013 Sémillion The White Ribbon hails from.
The Penmara 2013 Sémillion The White Ribbon comes in at 11% alcohol. I chilled the wine to about 50 degrees because it is a drier style. It could probably have benefited from just a bit more chilling. The wine released a light mineral and apricot aroma when opened. The wine is a light gold color that looks very oily when poured.
The Penmara 2013 Sémillion The White Ribbon has a nose that is rich with mineral, apricots, white tea, and green almonds with hints of tangerine, lemon, lime and perhaps the slightest tinge of honeydew melon. The palate for this wine is much the same as the nose with the apricot, tangerine, lemon, and minerals coming through. The white tea and an even more floral note come in at the finish along with a slight peppery note. The finish is disappointing. It’s very short. The acidity is really crisp but not so high it’s undrinkable. The mouth feel is heavy and oily for such a crisp wine which makes for an interesting drinking experience.
This wine is a bit hard to match with food, but I think that it would pair well with heavily fated shellfish and fish dishes. I did pair it with shrimp, but they were grilled with only a light brushing of oil and garlic. It was an alright pairing but something like a seafood Alfredo or anything creamy would have benefited from the nature of the wine. I do like this enough to buy it again, but I don’t think it’s astounding. Perhaps next time I will chill it down to 40 degrees and see if that lengthens the flavors and the finish. On the standard Wine Spectator scale, I give the Penmara 2013 Sémillion The White Ribbon an 86.
Have you tried the Penmara 2013 Sémillion The White Ribbon? Did you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments below!