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Elizabeth is a classic Hunter Valley white which has established itself as one of Australia’s benchmark Semillons. It has won fifty trophies and multi gold throughout it's long and illustrious history. Originally released in 1967 under the label Hunter Riesling, Elizabeth today stands as a praiseworthy and approachable example of the uniquely Hunter Valley Semillon style.

From the Lovedale Vineyard, hand-picked, free-run juice cool-fermented in stainless steel, early bottled. Very pale colour no surprise; as fresh and as crisp as they come, with citrus, lemongrass and lanolin all playing a role. Drink now, in 5, 10, or even 20 years with total confidence. Drink by: 2020; Price: $24.00; Alcohol: 10%; Rating: 95 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; Wine Companion

Hunter semillon, when it’s this young, often isn’t the easiest grape to either access or assess. Straw-green colour. Whispers of cut grass and green pineapple. Mainstay of lemon, fresh and zippy, with a good sense of weight and intensity. It’s certainly not flaccid. Or insipid. It has some grip. It will certainly age well; it has age-worthiness tattooed all over it. Exactly how good is it? It’s hard to tell. Except to say that popping a few bottles of it in the cellar would be a wise move. Length is excellent. Alcohol : 10%; Price : $20; Closure : Screwcap; Drink : 2018 - 2025+; Rated : 92+ Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front

I was going to write about this is as one of the great white wine bargains in Australia - but that was looking at the $20 recommended retail price. My advice: snap up a case of this Hunter Valley classic right now. That's because, despite the daggy (but historic) label, this is a wine that is a double threat. It is delicious right now in its youth, slinky and lemony, zingy and fresh with some flinty hints. Unoaked; it is all about the fruit. But if you don't drink it all over the final few weeks of summer then put a bottle or two away in the cellar for five years or so. It will metamorphasise into something altogether different; richer and more savoury. Right now, it is a lovely young thing, low in alcohol at 10% and full of vibrant enthusiasm. Winsor Dobbin



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