When I first arrived in Margaret River, nigh on twenty years ago, I first heard tell of the curse that hung like a pall over the town. The curse of – brace yourselves – relationship armageddon! Yes, of partnerships doomed to fail before they even really began to bloom. Of long-term marriages rent asunder. Betrayals. Recriminations. Scarlet A’s! All because of THE CURSE!
No explanations of how or why it came to pass. Like a force of nature, it just was.
As a young single man at the time, looking for love in all the wrong places, it concerned me. It seemed incongruous. Especially since the region’s swinging viticulture seemed to paint a wholly different story.
Yes, of course Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are both excellent drops all on their lonesome, erm, we know that, but in Margaret River they marry so well together that it is their rightfully famous signature blending – either SSB or SBS – that gives us all hope!
Anyway, dodgy segue-way aside, it’s time for the skinny from the latest mission of the Settler’s Liquor Store Tasting Collective (S.L.S.T.C): Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (SSB) and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS).
Ten wines on offer. The blind tasting guided by Charlotte D – our expert wine relationship counsellor as it were. She explained how the whole dance worked. How the Semillon provides the flesh and generosity on the palate and allows complexity to develop in the bottle, while the Sauvignon Blanc brings crisp acidity and bright aromatics to the party.
She also provided us with some cool descriptors.
For SB: green capsicum, gooseberry, snow pea, asparagus, cat’s widdle.
Semillon: cut grass, lime, lemon, green apple.
Now imagine banging those two together and see what comes out of the love collision! Ooer, missus!
Take the Fraser Gallop Parterre SSB 2015 for starters. 50% Sem, 50% SB. Talk about liking it both ways! A sophisticated buttery toffee nose that’s had some big French oak up it.
And the Suckfizzle SBS 2012 The name says it all! A big, perfumed, salty little performer, 100% barrel fermented, with a smooth palate that never says no.
If anything though, the two staff picks of the night reflected this special relationship the keenest. The Lenton Brae SSB 2016 (55% Sem, 45% SB, with a splash of oak) seamlessly gets it on with its tropical and citrus fruitiness and subtle oak giving it wonderful smooooth length.
As for the numero uno hot mama/big daddy, the Streicker SBS 2012, with its rich, deep and heady aromatics and lemony sherbet liveliness, loooong finish and lick of caramel oak, well, the Earth moved for me, baby.
But don’t just take my word for it. Ask our staff. About anything. Remember:
“We can build this dream together, Standing strong forever, Nothing’s gonna stop us now…
And if this world runs out of lovers, We’ll still have each other, Nothing’s gonna stop us, nothing’s gonna stop us now…”
Gotta love some Starship. And some MR SSB and SBS.
John W.G. Settlers Product Imbiber & Director of In-Store Tasting Observation Studies