Semillon is a widespread grape originally from Southwest France that has gained recognition for its significant contribution to the Sauterne blend as well as for Hunter Valley Semillon from Australia. (If you haven’t yet drunk your bottle of Sauterne from the December 2022 case, what a pleasure awaits you.) In California, Semillon has yet to find a recognized landing place, but this style, judging from my pangs when the bottle ran out, may blaze that trail. Nestled in a bowl shaped valley, the Chatom Vineyard sits atop three defunct goldmines on soils of decomposed granite and limestone (rare in California) and large chunks of quartz litter the ground. Winemaker Emily Fernwood came to love Semillon while living and working in Australia where it is generally racy and picked very early, as was the case here. The grapes were hand-picked and allowed 12 hours of skin contact, which accounts for the beautiful golden color, and then pressed into stainless steel casks. After a spontaneous primary fermentation, part of the wine was transferred into a neutral oak barrel. Flavors of apple and core, ginger, meyer lemon, hay, chamomile and honeycomb flavors. Moderate acidity and a full body with a touch of tannins that is terrific and interesting on its own or with light appetizers.