Sémillon comes into its own in the great Sauternes and other sweet wines of Bordeaux. With a completely different taste profile, it is also famous for great dry white wines of impressive ageability in the Hunter Valley of Australia. It is the traditional blending partner with Sauvignon Blanc. It is fuller bodied, rounder and fatter than Sauvignon Blanc and has aromas of honey, lemon and beeswax with a soft, viscous texture.
More Sémillon is grown in France than anywhere else. While it used to be planted in the New World, its popularity is declining here (except where sweet wines are made). It is its susceptibility to botrytis (the noble rot) that is probably Sémillon’s key selling point, producing big yellow to golden berries when ripe that shrivel easily to make concentrated wines of great intensity.