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In the second of our lead-in posts for our Spring Semillon Release at the Glenguin Estate cellar door on September 9/10, we feature our 2013 Aged Release Semillon and pair it with one of my favourite salmon dishes – which I cook fairly regularly.

Aged Hunter Valley Semillon is one of the Australian wine industry’s treasures. Unique on the world landscape, I’d go so far as to say there’s nothing like it anywhere else. Zippy and vibrant as a youngster, citrus to the fore, developing honeyed notes as it ages; eventually becoming lush and buttery.

It’s also true that very few people get the opportunity to taste semillon as it ages as, with a few notable exceptions, a lot of Hunter Valley Semillon is released within 6-12 months of vinification. With that in mind, it is a real joy to be able to release a Semillon that’s just starting to show signs of development and complexity.

The 2018 edition of the Halliday Wine Companion rated our 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon at 95 points, drinking to 2028. High praise from, arguably, Australia’s foremost wine critic. Of the wine, James called it, ‘A vinous example of having one’s cake and eating it, because youthful and mature flavours live happily together.’

I couldn’t have put it better.

The colour is a deep golden yellow, and the palate gives you a hint of what’s to come with little touches of honey backed by lime zest and crisp acidity, but the aroma is where we start to see deeper honey notes shine. Its still quite young at four years on, and its acidity indicates a fine life ahead of it. But the real joy in this wine is those little hints and glimpses, shining a light on what’s to come.

So when finding a perfect dish to pair this with, I wanted something with a bit of a deeper flavour that worked with both the younger lime flavours, and the deeper honey. Seafood, generally, is an obvious choice with Semillon. Given that this wine is beginning to develop more complex flavours, I went for salmon – something a bit deeper, a bit more flavoursome.

This dish has a history – about a decade ago I went on a ‘team building’ day at a local cooking school with other managers where I worked at the time (very much my pre-Glenguin days). A variation of this dish was what we were tasked with cooking on the day. Over the years, I’ve adapted it somewhat and made it my own but this dish just simply works when paired with aged Semillon.

So I hope you enjoy, and cheers!

Phil.

Oven Roasted Salmon with a Garlic, Butter and Persian Feta crust.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 x 180 gram Atlantic salmon fillets, skin on, deboned.
  •  50 grams of butter, softened
  • A generous dollop of Persian feta
  • Fresh dill leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

  1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 170 degrees
  2. In a bowl, combine Persian feta, dill, garlic, butter to form a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In an oven-proof dish, drizzle oil and place salmon skin-side down.
  4. Smear the paste over the top of the salmon.
  5. Place in the oven, bake for 20 minutes or until salmon is just cooked and slightly pink in the middle.
  6. Serve immediately on a warmed plate, with a side of hasselback potatoes and steamed asparagus and a glass of 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon.

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