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It’s very tough finding a Semillon varietal where I live in the US. Wine merchants scratch their heads dubiously and say, “Semillon is only used in blends.” “And you call yourself a wine seller!” I want to reply. “Have you not heard the good news that we are in a golden age of Semillon? Don’t you read the Wine Wankers?”


The best they could come up with was this Sauv Blanc/Semillon blend, which weighed in at $14.99. Skuttlebutt is not the name I would have picked (makes me think of bilge water), but the label says this is named after “the antiquated term for the source of water on seagoing vessels” and by extension “slang, gossip, chitta chatta, rumour, etc.,” the idea being that wine stimulates conversation.

My first impression upon swirling and sniffing was a big hit of earthy green, and not necessarily in a good way. I will say it was interesting, and not necessarily bad. Perhaps an acquired taste. It reminded me of the smell when you have ripped up a lot of fresh green weeds from the garden. Or even more earthy–like asparagus. The green was also there in the flavor, but in the mouth the impression is more citrusy, like a typical Sauv Blanc. The label describes all this as “a blast of citrus zest, passionfruit, gooseberry and savoury nettles.” Yes indeed to the nettles, and the gooseberry, which is tart and green. May I add that there is a slight soupçon of cat piss?

The label goes on to claim “juicy ripe melon and white peach flesh,” which I did not detect even after allowing the wine to lose its chill.

What can I say? We still drank the whole bottle.