Tasting after tasting after tasting, when does it all stop?
I guess if I was a retailer or salesperson, I would hope that it wouldn't, and just knowing that people aren't likely to stop drinking anytime soon, I can safely presume that, while the tastings may drop off a bit after the holidays, it won't stop entirely.
The benefit though of all these tastings comes in the form of me being able to identify more wines to write about, or in this case, it brought me to a type of grape varietal first, then to the specific wine.
Over the last couple tastings, I have had the opportunity to pour some wines that were either dominated by or included, the grape variety, Semillon. Native to the Bordeaux region in France, Semillon is one of three grapes approved for wine production there. It is also commonly blended with Sauvignon Blanc and occasionally Muscadelle to produce wines most commonly described as Bordeaux Blanc. It is also used alone in the production of Sauternes, or dessert wines, just as those from the highly regarded Chateaux d'Yquem.
But this time we're focusing on a slightly simpler iteration of the grape. Also from a slightly different area of the world. From Washington State and the Columbia Valley comes the
L'Ecole No.41 Semillon 2015
True to form, this wine is a blend of 84% Semillon and 16% Sauvignon Blanc. The wine also sees short (5 month) aging in neutral French Oak barrels adding to the body of the wine. While Semillon is not that acidic, the addition of the Sauvignon Blanc adds that quality to the wine to give it a nice little "pop" in your mouth. On the tongue, the wine has a stoned fruit quality to it along with, what can only be difficult to describe, as having a slightly oily quality to it. Now Oily is a tough term to use as it may lead to someone thinking petrol or gasoline, but oily is more or a feeling in your mouth that the wine brings. A coating if you will. It's not for everyone, but as you get used to it, it does create a sensation that is almost savory and makes for an excellent food wine. A fact I put to good use when I prepared a little salmon and Soba Noodle dish.
One last item. The other wine that brought me to using a wine produced from Semillon was an interesting little Bordeaux Blanc from the area in Bordeaux called Entre Deux Mers. Nestled in the far Southern region of Bordeaux and, like the L'Ecole wine, is a blended with Sauvignon Blanc and also a little Muscadelle. These wines are usually slighter lighter than their counterparts from the Righ or Left Bank of the Bordeaux region. Very nice wines for lighter foods.
Give this wine a try next time you're looking for something different and you've got your mind set on seafood for dinner. At around $15, it's a nice wine.