The grape variety of sweet white Bordeaux and a natural blending partner of Sauvignon Blanc in dry whites too. Mid ripening. Moderate vigor and maybe pruned long or short. Yields vary considerably according to the fertility of the vineyard. Well adapted to gravel or calcareous-clay soils. Susceptible to botrytis bunch rot, black rot (on young leaves), mites and leafhoppers but not to downy mildew or Eutypa dieback. The big berries are yellow to golden when ripe, in contrast to the vine’s typically bright green leaves.
Fully ripe Sémillon is fuller-bodied and fatter than Sauvignon Blanc, with waxy, lanolin, sometimes lemony aromas, and, often, a broad, more viscous impact on the palate rather than Sauvignon’s sharper attack and high acidity.
Source: Wine Grapes
A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavors
Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamouz
Published by the Penguin Group
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