Had a Glass: 1998 Tyrrell’s Sémillon Vat 1

Vintage: 1998
Producer: Tyrrell’s
Variety: Sémillon
Designation: Vat 1
Region: Australia
Sub-region: New South Wales, Hunter Valley
ABV: 10.5%
Price: $70 AUD, not available in BC

We tasted with our guest reviewer, Closet Taster.

Closet Taster says: Went perfectly with the prawn, mango and almond salad. Golden. It goes off like a frog in a sock.

He says: One of the world’s great wines is aged Hunter Valley Sémillon. We were lucky enough to find a shop with this bottle from 1998, released 10 years later as part of their library series. As one of my first experiences with old Sémillon, I was very, very impressed. The impression of the nose and palate is just like Champagne. It had a perfect balance of fruit and secondary flavours, with an exceptionally balanced dry citrus finish that goes on and on. Absolutely outstanding, and a must-have if you ever come across it.

She says: Having previously only tasted young Hunter Valley Sémillon, this wine was a revelation. It was hard to believe that the young wines I’d previously tasted could evolve into such a complex treasure. The layers of fruit, nut, mineral and autolytic flavours had a level of depth rarely seen in a white wine. The freshness of the acid was amazing given it’s a 12-year-old wine, and made my tongue tingle. In a word: orgasmic.

Tasting note

Looks like: Clear, med gold
Smells like: Clean, med+ intensity, developing, toast, nutty, lees, bread, yeast, very much the nose of aged champagne
Tastes like: Dry, med+ acidity, med body, med+ intensity, toast, yeasty, chalky minerality, green apple, complex solid fruit, balanced dry citrus finish, med- alcohol, long finish
Summary: Outstanding, Ready to drink

4 comments to Had a Glass: 1998 Tyrrell’s Sémillon Vat 1

  • This wine is brilliant. It was actually available in BC a couple years ago (at the BCLDB no less). I still have one bottle myself and look forward to drinking it. I hate how we can’t get wines like this in BC anymore.

    • WCVR

      Not sure if you saw it on Twitter, but @Esquin is selling the ’99 vintage for $40 USD a bottle. An unbelievable bargain if you ask us. More info here.

  • Hi Tania, definitely! For us this wine was a lot like Champagne (just without the bubbles), so the pairings are very similar. Any sort of seafood, salads with a creamy sauce (like Caesar), and lighter cheeses such as bries or goat cheese. If you have a specific pairing you want to know about, ask away. Have a great weekend.

  • WCVR

    A great follow-up post to our review written by the folks at Esquin wine shop in Seattle.

Wine truths

“Making good wine is a skill; making fine wine is an art.”
by Robert Mondavi

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.