2015 Thorne & Daughters "Tin Soldier" Semillon Western Cape South Africa

SKU #1281665 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of Semillon Blanc and Semillon Gris, the 2015 Tin Soldier Semillon has a subtle nutty/oxidative note that blossoms in the glass, with hints of aniseed developing. The palate is medium-bodied with orange pith and again, nutty notes, well balanced with a gentle but quite persistence finish. Always an individual wine, this will be intriguing to watch age over the next decade. Just 140 cases produced. (NM)  (4/2017)

K&L Notes

John and Tasha Seccombe started Thorne & Daughters in 2012 to celebrate the winemaking heritage of Western Cape. The 2015 was a challenging, but immensely satisfying vintage for them, producing incredible fruit. Praise for the producer from Wine Advocate: "During my time in South Africa, if there was one name on everyone’s lips, one bubbling-under, brand spanking new producer on the scene that you had to have tasted, then it was Thorne & Daughters. It reminded me of the simmering anticipation that preempted the debut release from Chris Alheit, a close friend and indeed “co-habitant” of winemaker John Seccombe... This is still a small operation but these are just the kind of wines that bolster the reputation of the winery, the region and indeed, South Africa as a country willing to use artisanal methods, more esoteric grape varieties, natural techniques and distinctive wines that not only taste good, make you stop and think, offering an intellectual proposition as well as sensory satisfaction." (NM, 10/2014)

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Price: $29.99
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- 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.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.