The Semillon-based Chateau d'Yquem is France's greatest sweet wine
Semillon is the major white grape of Bordeaux, France. It is often blended with other white varieties and is the major component in the world-famous sweet wines of Sauternes. It is also grown in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and the United States, especially California. Enjoy a dry Semillon with Sole, Clams, Mussels, pan-fried Fish, or Pasta Salad. Enjoy a Sauternes with Foie Gras or on its own. It doesn’t have to be a Chateau d’Yquem to be excellent.
Semillon starts at about $10 a bottle. The world-famous Chateau d’Yquem Suaternes costs hundreds of dollars per half bottle. In between there are several good choices. The nutty, smoky, zest of lime smelling and tasting Australian Tim Adams Clare Valley Semillon is a fine choice in the $16-18 range. The basic Brokenwood Semillion from the Lower Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia is a fine choice in the $20-25 range with its lime and mown grass flavors and a great balance of fruit, alcohol, and acidity. Spend about $30 and move up to the Brokenwood ILR Aged Reserve Semillon with lots of fruit especially lime, nut, vanilla flavor. Some people say this wine is in a class of its own.