Which Aussie Semillons cut the mustard at Hakkasan? All is revealed…
I’m a huge fan of Australian Semillon and, after my South East Asian fellow Landmark delegates called for a bit more specificity on food matches, I thought it’d be fun to follow this up back home with Group Wine Buyer for Hakkasan, Christine Parkinson, with whom I first visited the Hunter Valley in 2004.
Parkinson duly rustled up several dishes from the Michelin-starred temple of modern Chinese cuisine (which, incidentally, has just celebrated its10th anniversary) to taste alongside two dozen Australian Semillons – tough job, I know! The tasting formed the focus of a feature I wrote for Imbibe magazine and you can read all about it here.
As you’ll see McWilliams Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 1998, which Parkinson described as of Grand Cru Burgundy stature in terms of complexity and structure, performed brilliantly, as did Tyrrell’s Johnno’s Hand Pressed Semillon 2009 (pictured), which deviates from the classic Hunter style in that it’s made in a softer, more textured style.
If you want to find out more about this complex but under-rated variety, I can do no better than to refer you to the wise words of Hunter Young gun Andrew Thomas who presented the Landmark Semillon Masterclass here. For an insight into Aussie Semillon’s legendary ageing capacity, you’ll find tasting notes of Semillon verticals here (Brokenwood ILR 1992-2010), here (Brokenwood Semillon 1982-2010) and here (Tyrrells’ Vat 1 & McWilliams Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon).