Lindemans Early Harvest Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

As I was handed a plastic picnic cup full of Verdelho yesterday, I reflected that not all wines are intended to demand the full attention of the drinker. A lot of wines are crafted and marketed for their lifestyle value. The new Lindemans “Early Harvest” range is a good example. From what I can tell, it’s the vinous equivalent of low carb beer, “30% less alcohol, 30% less calories” trumpeted proudly on the front label and through the back label text. Fair enough, I could stand to lose a kilo or ten, and I do enjoy lower alcohol wines for their practicality.Very pale green colour, good clarity. The nose is of adequate intensity and presents simple aromas of passionfruit, tropical florals and a bit of capsicum. Nothing challenging, but at least it smells of something pretty. On entry, two things become apparent: there’s not much acid, and the lower alcohol is presumably due, in part, to a moderate amount of residual sugar. These two factors create a rather flabby experience on the middle palate, the sugar propping up and adding body to the wine’s dilute aromatic fruit and slightly grassy flavour profile. The after palate slips away to an interesting, not entirely pleasant, chalky finish. I’m not sure the value in considering this wine in terms of absolute quality, as it will be chosen, I suspect, on the basis of its other attributes. Fair enough. Just don’t think about it too hard as you’re drinking. If this wine works well in the market, I wonder if it’s naive for me to suggest the time for quality off-dry Riesling styles could be near? I wish.LindemansPrice: $A14Closure: StelvinDate tasted: January 2008

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