2000 Kalin Cellars Livermore Valley Sémillon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better, the 2000 Semillon is a blend of 75% Semillon and 25% Sauvignon Blanc with some of the Semillon coming from 100-year-old vines. The wine was fermented in French oak for ten months and bottled without filtration in August, 2001. It displays a light gold color as well as aromas of wet gravel, honeysuckle, candle wax, orange marmalade and earth. Full-bodied, exceptionally fresh, rich and long, this remarkable white wine should drink well for 10+ more years. Yes, Terry Leighton marches to the beat of not just a different drummer, but a different solar system. These 1995 and 2000 whites are his currant releases. I have been a big fan of his wines for many years (I still have a few bottles of his 1981 Pinot Noir and some of his older Sauvignon Blancs and Semillons in my cellar); he is a master at making incredibly long-lived wines. His Sauvignon Blanc is California’s longest-lived Sauvignon. These are unbelievable wines from an eccentric genius.
Kalin Cellars is something of an anomoly in our instant-gratification world. The winery, officially founded by microbiologists Terry and Frances Leighton in 1977, produces wines from less than obvious places and holds onto them until they deem them ready to drink, often more than a decade. The winery's Livermore Sémillon is the perfect example of this, made from a relatively unpopular varietal here in California, from Livermore, a place that has had a long history of grapegrowing but that is far from fashionable. This is the most current release as of Fall 2013. It is a rare, special gem of a wine that should appeal to anyone who enjoys white Bordeaux, especially with some age on it, as well as fans of interesting whites with texture and complexity.