Wine Review: 2007 Elderton Riverina Botrytis Semillon

The folks: This small and very young family-owned enterprise is run by Cameron and Allister Ashmead, the sons of founders, Neil and Lorraine Ashmead, in Australia’s Barossa Valley.
The grape: Semillon grapes, commonly used to make white wines in France and Australia, are left to ripen on the vine and subject to botrytis cinera (noble rot) in the Griffi th region of the Riverina (central New South Wales). This intensifi es the fl avors and sugars in the fruit, resulting in a “sticky” wine. Other notable dessert wines that are produced in the same way include the holy grail of sweet wines, Sauternes, and Tokaji Aszú.
The look: A luscious golden hue that sits pretty in a glass, just begging to be sipped.
The smell: Your nose will be tickled by a honeyed sweetness that does well to conceal its 10.5 percent alcohol content, most inviting indeed.
The sip: Brace yourself for a luscious mouthfeel with notes of mango and apricot. The wine is sweet and concentrated enough to withstand pairings with dessert, but is not overly cloying thanks to its subtle end note of citrus.
The food: While we wouldn’t recommend drinking this on its own (unless you have a serious sweet tooth), we think it stands up especially well against an assortment of cheeses, particularly a blue cheese such as Roquefort or Gorgonzola. If you’d like to pair it with dessert, try a tangy lemon tart or apple crumble. The damage: $26 for 375ml.
The Beam Cellar, #01‑03/07 Mountbatten Square, 229 Mountbatten Rd., 6559‑1155.