Tyrrell’s 2020 Hunter Valley Semillon – a bright light

August 31, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

Tyrrell’s has released a one-off Semillon blend produced from two of the best parcels of the 2020 vintage: HVD ‘Signpost’ and Belford. For Tyrrell’s, the wine is a triumph and bright light in a year characterised by challenging conditions.

The ‘Signpost’ and Belford blocks were planted in 1908 and 1933 respectively, and are two of the iconic Semillon vineyards of the world.

“They’re two of the best horses in our stable, for want of a better expression…If you think about those two vineyards in warmer years…They’re some of the best wines we’ve ever produced,” said Chris Tyrrell.

The Hunter region experienced its fourth consecutive year of drought and then, devastating bushfires in January. The majority of the Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley vineyards were affected by smoke taint, and the yields from these two blocks was down 50-75%. 

Fortunately, the fruit that was produced was in optimal condition and deemed safe to harvest by the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) when it was handpicked at January’s end.

This year’s picked fruit was lightly pressed before fermentation in stainless steel tanks and in May of this year, the wines were cleaned up, blended and then matured in tank. The Semillon was bottled in July.

⁠A percentage of the proceeds of the sale will go to the local Pokolbin Rural Fire Brigade and the wine is available exclusively through the Tyrrell’s Wine Club.

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