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Wine review: Look away from rich, oaky whites this spring

Jacob’s Creek Semillon Chardonnay, 2012, 11.9 per cent alcohol content

This Semillon Chardonnay is a lovely, light wine.

This Semillon Chardonnay is a lovely, light wine.

There has never been much interest in lower-alcohol white wines. That is, naturally lower and not these new “alcohol free” yet 0.5 per cent alcohol by volume, most of which are, frankly, very unpleasant.


In fact, there has been somewhat of a backlash against the very rich, oaky whites fashionable in the late 1990s. While these those big, robust whites have their place with hearty food, they are often contain more than 14 per cent alcohol. They are certainly not for everyday drinking.

Yet, in March, I feel it is time to seek out more delicate, light tipples that quiver between 9 and 12 per cent. Jacob’s Creek Semillon Chardonnay is a fine example of such a creation. A standard bottle of this Australian wine contains just 8.9 units of alcohol. It is enjoyable, clean and crisp too.


Jacob’s Creek has a long, successful history following its conception, incidentally in Australia, back in 1847. This light to medium-bodied Chardonnay boasts ripe melon, nectarine and fresh citrus flavours. The sweet, soft, smooth finish is delicious, offering a zippy, refreshing quality.

With a smoky yet acidic cut, this Semillon Chardonnay pairs well with chicken dishes and earthy, mature cheeses such as strong cheddars or can easily be enjoyed on its own.


While so often associated with the Bordeaux region in France, the golden-skinned Semillon grape also grows well in the chalky, fertile limestone soils in sunny southeast Australia. Jacob’s Creek Semillon Chardonnay is a great illustration of a lighter white. Ripe and fruity, it is a very pleasant tipple indeed.


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