Torbreck focuses primarily on producing traditional French varietals in Australia’s esteemed Barossa valley, a region with winemaking roots that date back over two hundred years.
The winery prides itself on utilizing the expertise of multi-generational growers, some of whom are descended from growers who came to Australia as far back as the early 1800s. In fact, some of the vines were planted in the 1840s!
Thanks to being all estate-produced, Torbreck has full control over the quality of its wines, from grapes to glass.
Torbreck Woodcutter’s Semillon Review
Semillon, a traditional French varietal that is normally found in the white wines of Bordeaux, is right at home in Australia.
It was actually one of the early white wine grape varieties planted by the first settlers around 160 years ago.
The Mediterranean climate and careful farming have created lots of old, low-yielding Semillon vineyards which produce rich, savory wines that have exceptional depth.
The wine is matured in both stainless steel and French oak.
The wine is a deep golden color in the glass, not unlike the color of a delicious golden apple.
The wine has a pretty middle-of-the-road body, and legs form and fall at a relatively moderate pace.
The aromas are floral and heavily herbaceous. Notes of honeysuckle, saffron, and ginger are the standouts, giving this wine a lovely fresh scent that screams summertime to me.
On top of that, you will get notes of lemon zest, golden apples, limes, and peaches. Subtle notes of vanilla and oak come through on the back end.
The aromas are nuanced and delicate.
The flavor of the wine falls in line nicely with the aromatics.
There are notes of papaya and mangos, along with overripe limes, fresh green apples, and peaches.
The oak influence is apparent but not overwhelming, with hints of toasty oak, vanilla cream, and spice playing nicely with the fruit flavors in the wine. Raw honey and ginger round out the wine nicely.
The body on this is a bit bigger than I had first expected. The oak influence lends a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel, as well as giving the wine a bit of tannic structure.
What Does Torbreck Woodcutter’s Semillon Pair With?
Light meats such as chicken, ham, and pork chops, seasoned with coriander and dill do well with this bottle.
Thanks to the added texture from the oak aging, it also does well with heartier dishes. A personal favorite of mine for this bottle is foie gras!
Spiced, stewed, and roasted veggies go great with this bottle as well. Think potato stew with roasted baby carrots or oven-baked squash. If you are feeling cheese, I really enjoy this bottle with earthier, nuttier cheeses.
I would reach for a nice gruyere, as the nuttiness and salinity of the cheese really shines thanks to the slight richness of the wine.
What Wines That Are Similar to Torbreck Woodcutter’s Semillon?
If you enjoy this bottle, I strongly recommend trying oak-aged Chardonnay with a good balance. Standout producers would include Ramey, Solitude, and other producers from the Carneros region in California.
You could also try Pinot Gris from Alsace, as they tend to have a similar honeyed characteristic, along with some nice tropical fruit stacked on a richer, heavier body than many light white wines.
Personally, I love this wine. I think that it has the potential to be a great crowd-pleaser, and it is particularly enjoyable when it is warm out. In short, this is one of my new go-to picnic wines, thanks to the drinkability and pairing potential it has.