“Best New Winery” in Just Three Vintages
Since its debut vintage in 2013, Silkman Winery in the Hunter Valley has exploded out of the gate. Just three vintages in, Australia’s top wine critic, James Halliday, has named Silkman one of the Top 10 Wineries Down Under. Its specialty is Sémillon, the crisp, lemony, and mineral variety, and this 2015 Sémillon earned 96 points from Halliday. In Wine Spectator, Matt Kramer called it “one of the best Hunter Sémillons I’ve had.” Did Kramer buy a case for himself? “You betcha.” We cleaned out the winery for today’s offer: Just 30 cases of a 96-point Chablis-like stunner out of the Hunter Valley — $21.99 per bottle.
Perhaps it took a pair of born-and-bred locals to bring out the best in Australia’s Hunter Valley. The husband and wife team of Shaun and Liz Silkman has unmatched experience in the region, both making wine and managing wineries for more than a decade. They work at Shaun’s father’s First Creek Wines for their day jobs, Shaun managing production and Liz as the estate’s winemaker, where she earned Hunter Valley winemaker of the year honors in 2011. They launched their own label, Silkman, in 2013, focusing on the distinct old-vine sites around the Hunter Valley.
Hunter Valley’s warm and humid climate, sandy soils, and cloud-suppressed sunlight hours have helped Sémillon take the spotlight. The variety’s early ripening, great flavor development with low alcohol, and high, naturally preserving acidity help Hunter Valley and its signature Sémillon comprise one of those terroir and grape combinations that distinguish the world’s greatest wines.