In 2018, Winestate Magazine crowned a dessert Semillon from a small winery in New South Wales as the wine of the year.
De Beaurepaire Wines
Founded by avowed francophiles Richard and Janet de Beaurepaire, the winery continues to be a family owned and operated. They produce 14 French style wines in Rylstone, Australia.
When they first started planting grapes, the region was not known for wine. However, a geological study confirmed the land had the same chemistry as Burgundy and Bordeaux. In addition, the climate conditions mimic those in Burgundy and Champagne.
Four hundred million years ago, a coral reef ran under the property that gradually turned into limestone, lending to unique qualities in the wine.
While most of Australia has an acidic soil profile, they have an alkaline one, similar to the Central Otago wine growing region in New Zealand.
Five different winemakers help make the wine, depending on the varietal, since they sell a range of wines from sweet, still, and sparkling.
Of utmost importance is quality. They do in depth tastings at their cellar door and sell their wines in restaurants and high end bars where a trained sommeliers and staff can speak to the background of the wine.
Learn more about De Beaurepaire Wines.
2018 Bortrytis Sparkling Semillon
Light, clean, and made in the style of a French sauterne, this semillon was made to pair with food rather than act as a sticky dessert wine.
The classic pairing would be with a pate or foie gras. The winemaker also recommends pairing with a cheeseboard at the end of the meal with a salty pecorino or manchego to contrast with the sweet wine.
The Last Drop
I mistakenly tried pairing it with an apricot tart, but it did prove to be too sweet and overpowered the wine.
Even those this was a half size bottle, it was powerful. A little taste went a long way. I would love this as an aperitif, with a charcuterie board, or with some creamy nuts and a salty cheese as suggested.