Byron and Harold Late Harvest Orbus Riesling/Semillon 2018


From the southwest of Western Australia, this is a bit of a throwback but a welcome one. Late harvest Riesling and Semillons were once very popular but have fallen from fashion (the ‘we can’t have anything sweet’ tidal wave of the latest fads). A shame as many were not only quite delicious but very useful wines. They tended to be gently sweet, rather than botrytis rich, and suited a range of dishes. Normally, one or the other variety, here we have a blend of the two grapes most often used. The style also was often lower in alcohol, in this case just 10%, which would seem to make them ideal for today. They were, as this is, usually excellent value.

Very pale in colour, this offers an appealing nose of soft citrus notes, florals and melon. Hints of river stones washed by chilled mountain streams – one can almost see the trout swimming by. There is that gentle sweetness, nicely balanced by vibrant acidity and decent length. This is a delight to enjoy now but there is no reason it won’t age well for several years.