Incredibly Delicious Fine Boutique Wine Bursting with Flavor Describes Jules Taylor Wines
Jules Taylor Wines has re-positioned itself from a small 400 case winery in New Zealand to an internationally recognized wine brand with loyal fans worldwide.
You might say Jules and the New Zealand wine industry were born at the same time. So maybe there were cosmic forces in play when she went on to do a postgraduate course in winemaking and viticulture.
Seeking more knowledge about the industry, she explored different winemaking regions around the world with an emphasis on Italy, specifically Sicily and Pidemont, which gave her a more comprehensive look into traditional winemaking.
She soon settled back in Marlborough which was most likely the stars aligning once again. It was here that she set her future path in the industry being named winemaker at Kim Crawford’s Marlborough Winery. Appreciation of Jules’ style of winemaking led to the brand’s explosive international growth and soon she was being sought after by other wine makers.
But Jules had an itch to follow her dream of making wine under her own label. In 2001 she produced her first vintage of Jules Taylor Wines. In 2008 Jules left Kim Crawford to focus on her own brand full-time with her business partner and husband, George Elworthy.
I had the opportunity to meet up with Jules at a Jules Taylor Wine tasting last week at Pam’s Patio Kitchen in north central San Antonio. Serendipity Wines provided 9 wines for the tasting as well as a wonderful lunch.
When agreeing to the wine tasting invite, I had no idea I would be in the presence of a New Zealand winemaker extraordinaire! But as I listened and learned (and tasted) I soon realized I was in the presence of what I would consider “wine royalty”. This women has carved out a name for herself (and her label) in the New Zealand wine industry and is creating quite a fan base around the world. She is continually creating award-winning wines while at the same time searching for the perfect grapes, flavor profiles and the right balance that will challenge the conventional winemaking interpretations of Marlborough’s signature varieties.
In addition to her classic label wines, Jules is also producing a separate label of wines known as OTQ (On The Quiet). Stylistically different from the Jules Taylor classics, they’re plucked from single vineyards of promising fruit and hand selected by Jules. OTQ are a secret squirrel and hard to get your hands on wine. These drops are pure indulgence. Crafted to challenge the conventional winemaking interpretations of Marlborough’s signature varieties, Jules Taylor’s OTQ wines are getting louder every day.
The OTQ Series is a pure expression of Jules’ winemaking skills and her vision to create wines which speak of their place.
Wines on hand for sampling were:
Jules Taylor Grüner Veltliner 2017 – Fruity wine with a nose of stone fruit, and honey. Palate of moderate acidity with a finish of sweet & peppery.
Jules Taylor Pinot Gris 2018 – Stone fruit and floral notes and a medium bodied wine. Delicate acidity with spicy, peppery finish.
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – This wine has a tropical, sunny nose with some lemongrass. Concentrated flavours of citrus and passionfruit on the palate with hints of fresh summer herbs with lemongrass. Note: Marlborough consistently produces some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc wines in the world. In fact, it is said that this region put Sauvignon Blanc wines on the map.
Jules Taylor Chardonnay 2017 – Ripe layers of pineapple and stone fruit with buttery notes, toasted almonds and jasmine flower. Smooth, plump palate with mealy characters developed from the maloferment and lees ageing. This wine has great complexity finishing with a a refreshing touch of citrus.
Jules Taylor OTQ Chardonnay 2017 – This Chardonnay is very forward with well-concentrated notes of stone-fruits and citrus mixed harmoniously with smoky reductive tones complimented by a definitive nutty burnt butter note.
It is composed and elegant on the palate, offering excellent fruit intensity, creamy texture, medium to full bodied. Stone-fruits are layered with definitive nutty burnt butter tones from the toasty oak, almost butterscotch in nature. Brilliantly structured with bright acidity and refreshing hints of citrus, this wine is complex and powerful, with a harmonious finish.
Jules Taylor OTQ Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 – This wine has a perfect pink petal hue and is brimming with light summer fruits with pomegranate and raspberry, yet it summons patisserie accents with hints of baked fig, cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate exhibits bright and fresh red summer fruits followed by subtle tones of natural honey dew and Manuka flower. The most compelling thing about this wine is its balance between crisp dryness and its mouth-watering acidity. Exhibiting exuberant flavours of red summer fruits with juicy acidity followed by subtle tones of quince and apple blossom, it flows effortlessly through the palate with a perfect balance of texture, acidity and minerality. Most compelling is the incredible length of this wine, providing you with a silky yet refreshingly dry finish.
Jules Taylor Pinot Noir 2017 – Aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and plum combined with spicy oak notes. Expressive concentration of flavor and good acidity. Dry finish with a touch of dark chocolate and subtle French oak.
Jules Taylor OTQ Pinot Noir 2017 – This Pinot Noir exudes powerful aromas of blackberries, black cherry and plum. Smokey suggestions from the oak are layered over earthy tones and a hint of baking spice. This Pinot Noir is juicy, fleshy and medium – full bodied on the palate, with wonderfully impressive primary flavours of blackberries, boysenberries and black doris plums. The wine has complexity with well-integrated oak and velvety tannins and provides tones of nuances of kalamata olive and red beetroot. For optimum flavour decant for 20 minutes.
Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – Left on the vine to over-ripen this late harvest is something worth waiting for, sort of like liquid gold. This wine has outstanding aromas of passionfruit, lychee’s and caramelised fig with notes of honey and a touch of white floral fragrance. The palate is decadently sweet with concentrated flavours of ripe passionfruit, lychee and apricot marmalade and a hint of grapefruit pith. A soft line of acidity from its Sauvignon Blanc heritage cuts through the sweetness to balance the rich flavours to perfection. Luscious!
All the wines tasted today were truly magnificent in every way. If you love white or Pinot Noir fruity wines and you have a chance to purchase any of the JTW selections, I suggest you do so. At Jules Taylor Wines they make only one batch of each wine at harvest. So, enjoy it while you can. Once it’s gone, it’s truly gone.
**Full Disclosure: I was invited to attend this wine tasting plus lunch in exchange for my review, but not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.