CHOICE wine picks

CHOICE's wine experts serve their verdict on the best wines to buy for the festive season.
 
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03.Semillon sauvignon blanc

On its own, the golden-skinned semillon grape has low acidity and a somewhat oily texture. Blended with sauvignon blanc, its aroma ranges from grassy to citrus. Our judges were pleasantly surprised by the wines that performed well in this bracket, several of which – such as Penfolds Koonunga Hill, Four Sisters and Houghton – cost $15 or less. “This was a much more even bracket, with some very well-made wines in two distinct styles – unoaked or barrel fermented,” said Pritzker. “There were many examples that showed great freshness and length and great drinkability.” Another of our judges, Phillip Gregory, added that “the semillon balances the wines and adds more complexity to the mid-palate and length to the finish. Overall it performed much better than the straight sauvignon bracket; I like these wines and think they would partner a wide range of foods.”

 

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Using the table
The judges use the following scoring system: 18.5 and above: Gold. 17-18.4: Silver. 15.5-16.9: Bronze 14-15.4: Pleasant but undistinguished. 13.9-12.5: Ordinary; dull.

Table notes
*CHOICE member-nominated wines. Prices are based on our price survey carried out in Sydney liquor stores in October 2010.

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