The primary fruit flavors in Sémillon wine are lemon, apple, pear and green papaya. There’s something very waxy about the taste of Sémillon which wine writers often describe as lanolin. Depending on where Sémillon is grown it can range from being a zesty, palate-cleansing wine like Sauvignon Blanc to a rich, creamy, lemon-flavored wine like oaked Chardonnay.
Hot Climate vs. Cool Climate Sémillon
Hot Climate Sémillon More ripe fruits, including mango, yellow peach and papaya, can be found in warm climate Sémillon. It’s not uncommon to find wines from these regions using moderate oak-aging to add buttery notes to the flavor. Hotter climate regions include California, South Africa, Argentina, South Australia and part of Washington State. Wines will be higher alcohol with about 12-14% ABV.
Cool Climate Sémillon When winemakers pick Sémillon less ripe, the wines have a lot more acidity and often resemble their popular cousin, Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus flavors of lemon, lime zest and grapefruit are accentuated in this style when winemakers don’t oak-age their Sémillon. A cooler climate Sémillon will also have more flower aromas. Cooler climate Sémillon wines (where grapes are picked less ripe) are commonly from Washington State, Bordeaux, Hunter Valley Australia and Western Australia. In these areas, wines will have about 10-12% ABV (this means they are lower-calorie!)
Courtesy of WineFolly.com