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Aug 6, 2011 04:23 PM

California Semillon, any vintners?

After drinking a great white bordeaux, I bought a Sauvignon Blanc and added a few drops of of a Sauternes to the glass to approximate the flavour. It was a pretty good experiment. However I am looking for a California version.

I know I am not going to get the equal of a Grand Cru, I am just looking for a California or US source for either a Semillon desert wine or SV blanc blend.

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  1. Saxon Brown (Sonoma) makes a couple of Semillons. I don't know that I'd say they were sweet enough to be called dessert wines, but give their site a try:

    1 Reply
    1. Robert, I don't understand why you would add "a few drops of a Sauternes" to a Sauvignon Blanc? Some white Bordeaux are100% Sauvignon Blanc; some are 100% Sémillon, and can be anywhere in between Adding some Sauternes adds sweetness, but not necessarily Sémillon alone -- Sauternes, too, is generally a blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle . . . not to mention the Botrytis.

      As for California, the two best producers of Sémillon are Kalin and Ahlgren. Both of these are dry AND outstanding. From Washington State, look for L'Ecole No.41 and Chinook.

      In terms of white wines in the style of a dry white Bordeaux from the US, there are a handful to seek out. One of my favorites is the DeLille Cellars Chaleur Blanc from Washington State; also look to the Clos du Val Ariadne, St.-Supéry Virtu (St.-Supéry also makes a varietal Sémillon, BTW).


      2 Replies
      1. re: zin1953

        Had an open bottle of Sauternes left from a dinner earlier in the week and a cheap SV blanc in the cupboard, so I gave it a try. Thanx for recs. Of course the Ahlgren is sold out, but I 'll head up to K&L for some ideas

        1. re: budnball

          At the winery? Bummer -- I actually prefer it to the Kalin, even though the Kalin is far more famous . . .