Neethlingshof Semillon Reserve 1998

Its colour is golden straw-yellow with green tinges. The extra depth of colour points immediately to strong character and flavour to follow. On the nose it has lovely ripe citrus aromas of golden marmalade, touched with passion fruit and ripe pineapples that set the mouth watering. It has the typical waxy, lanoline character of this varietal. On the palate, an array of fruit and exquisite dry savoury flavours with zest of fresh lemon emerge. Good oak balances the fruit. It is supple and racy with an intriguing, lingering aftertaste.

variety : Semillon [ Semillon ]
winemaker : 
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 13.54 % vol  rs : 2.3 g/l  ta : 6.3 g/l  
pack : Bottle  

ageing : The overall impression is of a poised and polished wine - superior in every way - and is renowned for its amazing ageing potential. The fatness and roundness will develop even further and it will become increasingly honeyed and toasty with age.

in the vineyard : Sémillon is the mainstay of white Bordeaux in France. In South Africa this varietal, also known as Green Grape, was first planted in Constantia by Simon van der Stel in the 1680s, but it was the French Huguenots who are credited for popularising Sémillon at the Cape. The varietal is appreciated for its round, lanoliney quality and to a lesser extent, for herbaceous flavours, similar to those of the much sharper Sauvignon Blanc, and produces wines which have many more nuances than, for instance, Chardonnay. The vines are grown in cool, decomposed granite soils which have a high water-retention capacity.

about the harvest: The yield was kept low (3 tons only) and the grapes were picked at 24° Balling.

in the cellar : With the 1998 vintage, Neethlingshof is launching its first Sémillon produced on the estate. It is an exceptional wine with multi-faceted dimensions, bottled under an ultra-premium label. This varietal was adopted in a very serious manner by Neethlingshof after it was established that the estate has the right attributes for growing superior quality Sémillon. The success of the first vintage is also attributed to the vinification practices that were followed to maximise the fruit aromas and flavours of Sémillon. After skin contact that lasted four hours, fermentation was started in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks using Vin 13 yeast, and completed in small French oak barrels. The wine was kept on its lees in wood and stirred regularly for five months.

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