Taylors St Andrews Single Vineyard Clare Valley Shiraz 2009

Taylors St Andrews ShirazThey are the Artisans who created one of my all-time favourite Rieslings and now, the team at Taylors are using fruit from the very same region to craft a Shiraz that arouses my tastebuds in much the same way.

The Taylors St Andrews Shiraz hails from South Australia’s Clare Valley and the 2009 vintage I recently cracked is even more impressive now than when I was first blessed with the experience some three or four years ago.

In the glass, it’s a deep, dark bloodshot colour which is rufescent around the edges.  There are hints of savoury molasses characters on the nose, but once on the front palate, its layer upon layer of delicious (sweet) stewed plums and toffee apple characters with an edge of chocolate, black forest cake and coffee at the back end.  It almost makes me feel like I’m visiting the Shingle Inn!

But the real appeal of the St Andrews is its undeniable richness and the mouth filling, yet voluptuous feel of the premium Shiraz fruit as it transitions across every stage of the palate.

Not surprisingly, it isn’t cheap (the current vintage sells at $65 a bottle), but class costs: and I suspect it will only improve over the next decade or so.

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is a practice group leader of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers, part of the Slater and Gordon group, and lover of fine food and wine

Taylors 2009 “The Visionary”

Taylors 2009 The Visionary Taylors The VisionaryMove aside Penfolds Grange, there’s a new player in the super premium wine market and I reckon it’s a contender and not just a pretender.

Bottled in late 2011 but only recently released, Taylors 2009 “The Visionary” is the new flagship for the family owned Clare Valley wine company and aimed squarely at the (somewhat cluttered) top end and collectible sectors of the industry.

Named in honour of the Taylors’ founder, Bill Taylor Snr, “The Visionary” hits the shelves at around $150 a bottle but is crafted from their finest Cabernet fruit from the vineyard’s very best blocks.  And it’s a striking wine in so many ways.

In the glass, the colour is so deep that it’s best described as black and on the nose there is a surprising absence of earthiness but instead, a lifted perfume of treacle and maybe even a hint of leaf and molasses.  It’s a wine obviously built to stand the test of time, yet the winemakers have allowed the youthful exuberance of the estate’s First XV fruit to dance with cranberries and Bavarian black forest cake flavours, without the shackles of French Oak to constrain their enthusiasm.  It’s perhaps a bold strategy to have such understated fine tannins tightly guiding the adolescent fruit through a cedary and austere finale, but it’s a plan that is definitely working for now.

So often we see debate about whether a super premium wine really justifies its price tag, but given its five gold medals and a swag of other awards, “The Visionary” will surely be a rare exception;  it’s absolutely worth every cent!

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine

Taylors 80 Acres Classic Dry White

2b58c943d9586a5ebf520d1d9691afb2By Travis Schultz

There are times when the palate craves a really good white but the wallet calls for restraint, and if you’ve discovered the Taylors 80 Acres Classic Dry White, you’ve probably found the perfect compromise.

The 2008 release has now lost its greenish tinge in the glass and the tropical fruit nose is now even more pronounced.  Although the blend is primarily Riesling, the small amounts of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer make it an aromatic style and add guava and dried pawpaw characters to the middle, before the steely flintiness of the Clare Valley Riesling provides an acidic crispness to the finale.  At only around $15 a bottle, I doubt there’s better value on the shelf!

Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine



Taylors Estate Merlot 2010

by Travis Schultz, Managing Partner

Although Merlot is the most common variety of grape grown in France, it’s never really hit its straps as a single varietal in the Australian wine market. Perhaps that’s because Merlot grapes tend to ripen too quickly in warm climates, or because Aussies just prefer the softness that it brings when blended with Cabernet and Shiraz.

But with rich ripe styles like the Taylors Estate 2010 Merlot hitting the shelves, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes as popular here as it is in the South of France.

I suspect that the winemaker, Mitchell Taylor, has deliberately picked the fruit a touch later than normal for the 2010 release, as the nose is a perfume of spice and berry which becomes lush creamy stewed plums and strawberry on the palate. There’s a touch of gripiness in the middle, courtesy of a brief tannic interlude, before the fruit corralled by French and American oak, takes hold once more to linger through the finish (and an encore performance at that!)

I’m a little surprised that Taylors didn’t use this fruit from their Lodden and St Andrew’s blocks to craft one of their top end St Andrews releases as it’s much better than its $16-$20 price point would suggest.

Travis Schultz, is Managing Partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine.