Through Sémillon changes dramatically from youth through twilight, it always carries itself with an air of nobility. With berries of golden rose, young Sémillon shows bright, sometimes racy acidity, citrus and hay/herb notes. With bottle age, these wines tend to fatness, with a waxy, honeyed heft that gains weight and complexity.
The early-ripening, thin-skinned grape is highly susceptible to rot, making it one of the most desirable to establish botrytis (noble rot) affected wines. It is one of the major grapes in the exalted sweet wines of Bordeaux - Sauternes. However, Sémillon is relatively rare today. After a blaze of popularity (it was one of the most planted white grapes in the world), it has fallen out of fashion, making finding a pure Sémillon a challenge. Australia, especially in the Hunter Valley, is the rare exception, producing brilliant, age-worthy Sémillons that compete with the top wines in the world. Noble, indeed.