2000 Kalin Cellars Livermore Valley Sémillon

SKU #1135957 93 points 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.  (12/2013)

K&L Notes

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.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/16/2014 | Send Email
This Livermore Valley Semillon is a worthy challenger to many of the great white Bordeaux that we have on the shelf at much higher prices. I was stunned by freshness of this wine--it still has a green glint in the gold straw hue of the wine. While this wine is completely dry, the flavors remind me of honey and it has a full-bodied, rich mouthfeel. The finish is long with hints of caramel, but is still refreshing. Wow!

Additional Information:



- A rich, viscous, full-flavored but subtly-scented and botrytis-prone white grape, Sémillon reaches magical heights when infected with "noble rot" and combined with even small amounts of the aromatic and high-acid Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes, one of the world's most revered and longest-lived wines, and in the sweet wines of surrounding regions like Barsac. Sémillon's most famous incarnation is in the wines of Château d'Yquem, one of the world's most expensive wines, and one that has been known to evolve for centuries. It frequently dominates, but not by much, in the oak-aged whites of Bordeaux's Graves and Pessac-Léognan, creating honeyed and viscous wines that are unlike any others. Elsewhere in Bordeaux and around France it takes on a supporting role in the wines of Entre-Deux-Mers and the Médoc. While planted throughout France, Europe, California and Washington, Sémillon's role as underling usually keeps it out of the spotlight with a few winery-specific exceptions. However, the grape is allowed to shine in Australia's Hunter Valley, where it is used to make an elegant dry wine often called, perplexingly, Hunter Valley Riesling. It also makes some incredible dry, oaked wines from the Barossa and lovely stickies in the style of Sauternes.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:


- Just east of San Francisco, among an ever-sprawling suburban landscape, Livermore produces the usual suspects with a concentration on hearty grapes like cabernet and zin, which can withstand the screaming summer heat.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8