Hunter Valley Semillon reccos

Having exerted an immense effort to refrain from making crass puns in the title...

Any Hunter Valley Semillon fans out there? I have recently had the pleasure of trying a couple of aged examples and was bowled over (one was a McWilliams "Elizabeth" 2005: all honey and wax and a hint of smoke while remaining absolutely fresh; can't remember what the other was).

Any thoughts on producers and vintages to look out for would be very much appreciated!!!

Research indicates that Tyrell's Vat 1 may be a pretty safe bet for most vintages?
 
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Don’t overlook the Tyrrell’s Sems that are half the price of Vat 1: The Stevens and HVD are very good at 5 years old and even better at 10.

As a general rule, 9, 10, 11 and 13 are pretty good now; as are 05 and 06

08 and 12 are weaker years and not worth buying if you can get other vintages
 
Don’t overlook the Tyrrell’s Sems that are half the price of Vat 1: The Stevens and HVD are very good at 5 years old and even better at 10.

As a general rule, 9, 10, 11 and 13 are pretty good now; as are 05 and 06

08 and 12 are weaker years and not worth buying if you can get other vintages
Good call Matt, some of the Mount Pleasant and Tyrrell's other releases do very well with age. For my own part I should have a bottle of Tyrrell's Belford and a few Mount Pleasant Elizabeth that I carted back from Australia.
 
Brokenwood ILR already showing well. McWilliams Lovedale and Tyrell's Vat 1 should be left for a few years yet.
That's very consistent with my experience of Brokenwood's ILR - a wine unlike the others, in that it shows much more complexity when young (but that has me doubting its longevity a little).
Lovedale, Stevens, Vat 1 & Belford are either in the cellar now, or have been in the past. The experience of those drunk being always - it's gained complexity, but seems to have much more upside . Oldest are 2006/2007 which based on prior experience means they are still buried without being tempted to open them.
 
Meerea Park, Andrew Thomas & McLeish Estate are also worth checking out. A few other producers are making wines for earlier drinking but the better more traditional examples typically need 10-20 years.
 
Agree that Tyrrell's Vat1 and Mount Pleasant Lovedale are top examples. Both can take their time to come around - the former in particular. In most vintages, I wouldn't approach the Vat 1 until it had at least 10-15 years of bottle age - at which point they will often still appear incredibly youthful. Peak drinking will often be at 15-20 years and full maturity could easily be 25 years plus. My 2000s are in a lovely place, the 2004s are just hitting their peak, while the 2006 is only just open for business.

Most of the wines in the Tyrrell's range are excellent, but they can be pretty pricey. The HVD turns up at M&S and Waitrose quite regularly - and can be good value if it's on offer. It can be approached a lot earlier than the Vat 1. Stevens is a cheaper option that also rarely disappoints.

My Hunter Semillon-loving friend had good things to say about the McGuigan Bin 9000, which you can get at Sainsbury's. I bought some, but haven't opened any yet, so can't offer my two pence.
 
There are few 'bad' Vat 1s, but some are better than others. 2005 is not ready to drink yet, but don't keep the 2012 any longer, for example.
I find Lovedale remarkably inconsistent, whether that's vintage or winery-related I don't really know.
The 'lesser' Tyrrells are usually very good.
Andrew Thomas' semillons are good, although I've not seen one shine brilliantly at ten years, for instance; the Braemore often seems to be early-maturing to my palate.
The odd ILR from Brokenwood is OK, but I've usually found their semillons to be on the short-lived, simpler side. You sometimes strike it lucky with a single vineyard bottling of theirs.
McLeish have the odd stunner, and I remember being quite impressed by one of those McGuigan Bin 9000 (naff name!) bottlings too; it's that's well-priced it's worth a go.
I tend to think longevity is compromised by wines at 12% or higher (not always, but a decent indicator); 11% or 10.5% is a better guide I reckon.
cheers
Graeme
 
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