is the majority (75%) white variety in the Montbazillac and
Sauternes produces the world-famous
sweet wines, which capitalize on Sémillon's susceptibility to
botrytis cinerea, the
noble rot that concentrates the sugars and flavours, intensifying the acid and
sugar levels. Sémillon is easy to cultivate.
Semillon is fairly resistant to common vine diseases, with the notable exception of
noble rot. Combined with
Sauvignon and eventually
Muscadelle, the wines created are then
richer, honeyed, concentrated and more complex with great aging ability. Sémillon marries well with
oak and tends to produce high-alcohol wines that have good
texture but what are often low in acid and on
aromas. Vinified when its crop has not yet started to concentrate, Sémillon provides excellent dry wines
(Graves blancs), characterized by flavours of honey, lime tree and little citrus fruits. Semillon grows more in Chile than anywhere else on earth, but it is also planted elsewhere around the world: Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Eastern Europe, and in the United States.