Sense of Taste Tasting: Rose, Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon

With Spring right around the corner, it only made sense that our Sense of Taste managers led by the ever-knowledgeable wine wizard Tyson Stelzer looked to the spring summer flavours of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé for this month’s tasting.

For most, Semillon is often associated with the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc wines rather than on its own. Semillon most noticeably, is a white grape variety that is used primarily to produce dry and sweet wines. Typically, inclusive of citrus, stone fruits, honey, and sometimes herbal or floral notes, the flavour profile can vary depending on the region and the winemaking techniques used.

This month’s tasting was jam packed with a range of Hunter Valley and Barossa Semillon, all priced affordably. The standout, a 2017 Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon from the hunter valley. Rated by James Halliday himself with 95 Halliday rated points, he describes this wine as a “drop dead beauty with a poise of a ballerina, feet barely touching the ground and marking the end of act one. The first stage of honey and toast just commenced, with four to five stages still to follow”. Fun fact – if you drain the liquid and pour a bit of Semillon on a fresh oyster, apparently it is to die for!

Above: Wines featured in the Sense of Taste tasting.

Rosé over the years has become increasingly popular, with its light and approachable flavours that can be enjoyed any time of the year. When we speak approachable, we talk about the wide range of flavours, from fresh to fruity to complex and floral. You’ll often find notes of berry and melon and sometimes floral undertones. For those not up to scratch on their Rosé knowledge, it’s liquid is typically made from red grapes with shorter periods of contact with grape skins – hence the pink colouring. This month’s tasting looked at the vast variety rosé has to offer – regions within both Australia well as overseas (Provence, France).

There were two standouts in the tasting. Firstly, the 2022 Mazi Mataro Cinsault Grenaché Rosé. With a floral scent as well as musk and Turkish delight undertones, the winemaker describes the feeling of natural acid that is full yet still balanced however, one which is carried beautifully by the natural red berry and cherry flavours.

The second, a 2022 Miraval Provence Rosé. A beautiful blend of fruit aromas whilst maintaining a beautifully balanced aromatic bouquet of fresh fruit, roses and zest of lemon. Described as a typical Miraval vintage, it includes grapes of Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle and Syrah and is beautifully rich and gourmet in texture.

With a plethora of wines that often dominate most wine stores, it was no surprise that Sauvignon Blanc also dominated the tasting panel list wit over 20 wines also sampled from different regions including abroad. One of the more versatile wines, flavours often vary from fruit notes to herb and vegetable.

The 2023 Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc was one of two wines that was a sure favourite. Tyson describes this as “textbook Adelaide Hills; a sauvignon of wonderful harmony and deliciously fragrant allure. Wonderful lemon and lime with lily blossom lift, green apple crunch and electric acid purity. It holds outstanding line and length, crystalline-pure and delightful.” A safe and trustworthy wine, liked by every member of the tasting panel.

Above: Wine Wizard Tyson Stelzer at the Sense of Taste Tasting event.

Finally, a 2021 Terre a Terre Crayeres Sauvignon Blanc from Wrattonbully. Advised to leave for at least 10 years before drinking, Tyson notes this wine is limestone-infused Wrattonbully fruit held with the textural grip and flavour profile of French woodwork. The result? A sauvignon engineered for the long-haul, with the structure and presence to go long.

Of course, there is always more on offer which you can find here and have been recommended by both Tyson and our Tasting Panel – available both online and in-store now!