Some white wine varietals are just made for each other, and one of the finest examples is Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, which when blended together make the great dry white wines of Bordeaux. Though Sauvignon Blanc usually gets top billing in Bordeaux, it would lack body without Sémillon's rich, full- bodied character. Sé́millon, however, takes the lead when it's blended with the more acidic and leaner Sauvignon Blanc to make Sauternes and Graves, two of France's noblest sweet whites. Unblended wines from the vigorous, high-yielding Sé́millon grape are typically medium- to full-bodied, with low levels of acidity, mmedium-high to high alcohol levels, and a pale to deep golden color. Sé́millon displays flavors and aromas much like ripe Chardonnay: lemon, grapefruit, apple, peach, pear, tropical fruit, orange peel, and marmalade. Because Sé́millon grapes are thin-skinned and grow in large, dense clusters, they're highly susceptible to Botrytis cinerea (i.e., noble rot), which attacks the skins and concentrates the fruit sugars, adding distinctive body and incredible complexity. In fact, the Sémillon-based dessert wine—with its marriage of sugars, acids, and concentration—is one of the world's most ageable wines. Outside of Europe, Sé́millon performs the best in warm climates such as Australia's Hunter Valley, where some stunning examples of old vine Sémillon show what this varietal is capable of. Sé́millon also has carved out a New World niche in Washington state, California, Chile, Argentina, and South America. Dry Sémillon-based Bordeaux are well suited to seafood, game, and pork. The dessert wine version is the traditional accompaniment to foie gras and also pairs beautifully with richly veined cheeses such as Roquefort. Sé́millon is one of the five white wines (the others are Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc) that make up the nine classical varietals (there are four red classical varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir).