Wine of the Week; 1995 Kalin Cellars Semillon, Livermore Valley, California.
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; Jul 24, 2002; S. Irene Virbila
Semillon is the golden grape that's blended with Sauvignon Blanc to make the steely dry Graves and luscious sweet Sauternes of Bordeaux. It isn't much used in California, but Terry Leighton has been making compelling Semillons for Kalin Cellars since 1977. His 1995 Semillon--that's right; Leighton waits awhile to release his Semillon--is a prime example. The grapes come from a Livermore Valley vineyard originally planted in the 1880s with cuttings brought over from Chateau d'Yquem, the greatest vineyard in Sauternes. Semillon gives the wine its brassy gold color, richly layered aroma and breathtaking ripe, round flavor; the 25% Sauvignon Blanc in the blend gives it a cool acidity. Incidentally, this almost 7-year-old dry white makes a surprisingly sensible summer wine. Open it as an aperitif, pour it with grilled fish and seafood--it's a particularly good match with lobster or Santa Barbara prawns. $24.99 to $32.99. Available at Beverage Warehouse in Marina del Rey, (310) 306-2822 and many Bristol Farms stores in Southern California.