Red Semillon (Gris) is a natural mutation of white Semillon and is found in small pockets in the Cape. It is not black-skinned like other red varieties, but rather rose-coloured skin. John decided to carefully ferment the juice on the skins in order to extract some of the colour and texture, without making the wine tannic. The result is a complex yet delicate wine with a bright copper colour. There’s a balance between savoury and sweet in these wines with intriguing dried herb notes and an almost ginger like spice.
In 2013, the maiden vintage, the grapes were 100% from a 30 year old vineyard in Franschhoek and thus a field blend of Semillon and Semillon Gris.
No 2014 was made, and in 2015 the same Franschhoek vineyard was used, now 32 years old, as well as a Swartland vineyard, 4 years old at the time. This Swartland vineyard was established from a sélection massale of Semillon Gris cuttings taken from an adjacent vineyard of Semillon, which was planted in 1964. It’s fair to say the Gris component in the wine increased due to this new addition.
In 2016 the shift was to 100% Swartland grapes from 2 vineyards. The same Gris vineyard and a Semillon vineyard that was 10 years old then. So it still remained a blend of the two Semillons, but now strictly not a field blend anymore.
From 2017 the wine was made from 100% Gris grapes from this special Swartland vineyard. The latest vintage to be released, 2019, can therefore be named Skin Fermented Semillon Gris from the Swartland
John says: “The colour of the wine is unusual, having taken some bright copper tones from about a week’s fermentation on skins. The nose is expressive with spice, sweet papaya, ginger, citrus peel and marzipan notes. Over the past couple of years, we have dialled the ripeness up a notch, making for a more complete and “grown-up” wine, which we feel is in a very good space with the 2019 edition.”
We offer a unique selection of vintages for those keen to explore, learn and taste a bit of history.
The mixed case includes 2 bottles 2013, 1 bottle 2015, 2 bottles 2016 and 1 bottle 2019.
1 in stock
John Seccombe, Thorne & Daughters