Braemore. One of the flagship Semillon vineyards in the Hunter Valley that produces wines of exceptional purity and concentration. Andrew Thomas’ releases have amassed praise and accolades for many years. “Thommo” is a fastidious winemaker, but also loves a bit of fun, which brings us to the “Like A Version” release of Semillon from his Braemore vineyard, alongside its more traditional counterpart. I’ll leave it to Thommo to best explain:
“In 2019, I invited Tassie winemaker and all-round top bloke Joe Holyman to come up and have some fun with a small parcel of Braemore Semillon. The brief was simple – make a completely different style of wine to mine with the same grapes. Those of you who know Joe will appreciate his sense of mischief and no-nonsense approach to winemaking.
The fruit was foot trodden and left overnight before pressing the next day. No SO2, no finings, no settling the juice. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts on full solids. No temperature control. The ferment was finished bone dry in just two days. Racked only twice over the next 8 months. A minuscule SO2 addition just prior to hand bottling in December 2019 without fining or filtration.”
Thomas Wines, Like A Version, Braemore, Semillon, Hunter Valley, 2019
Label designed by Sindy Sinn. Light lemon gold colour with slight hazy appearance. Aromatic and fruity. Stone fruit kernel, marmalade, creamed honey, lemon butter, pith, lemongrass and smoky flint strike. Initially more rounded and fuller than your usual young Hunter Semillon, yet the signature acidity is still present. Rich with lemongrass and ground ginger-like spice, dried apple slices and yellow florals all leading to a dry and tight finish with a fine phenolic tail. Not so much a cover version but a quality release in its own right.
Rating: 18.5/20 (93/100)
Thomas Wines, Braemore, Semillon, Hunter Valley, 2019
Pale lemon gold with a green edge. Lemon skin, lime leaf + skin, crushed lemongrass stalk and an almost rock salt mineral cleanliness. The palate shows recognised Braemore purity and light bodied power: everything tight and coiled for now. The acidity wonderfully energetic and supporting exquisite fruit. A quality release for now or 20 years time.
Rating: 19/20 (95/100)
Wines purchased from Thomas Wines