Clare Valley Taylors Chardonnay

G’day guys. Mitch here. I’ve recently become aware of the existence of regular tastings down my local liquor store. Something that was certainly more social than I’d have ever expected. Socialization, not something I’m known to enjoy, so it’s unusual I manage to fit in so effectively and mingle with total strangers. But if you think about it, it begins to make sense. I’m an introvert. I’m happy to go down to my little cafe and read my Kindle and have my cuppa (funny thing; you can go down to a restaurant or a cafe and you could be waiting for seemingly half an hour and the thought rattles round in your brain that if you had a book, you could be two chapters forward by now. But the one time you remember to bring one in expectation of time to kill, the produce the food almost instantaneously. My Kindle is very good at accumulating two things – old books that can predate the first World War, and dust), but when well-meaning strangers burst into conversation with me out of the blue I’m very much caught off-guard and confuse to what to do. This happened to me recently when an nice woman noticed my tattoo and spontaneously started to spin a yarn about how she liked my tattoo and her tattoos and the events surrounding them and whatnot, and I was just frozen in awkwardness. But it is funny how when you fall in with a like-minded crowd how natural and unforced these human interactions become. One afternoon, I was having lunch down the R.S.L., a Caesar salad if I remember correctly, and a miniature bottle of Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon. For those not from the same country and unfamiliar with Yellow Tail, when I say miniature; I mean two glasses. One if the glasses were some of those generously proportioned ones. I had finished my lunch, and once I finished the glass of red in my hand, I had nothing else keeping me there. I couldn’t have been a minute or two from leaving when an older man stopped by my table, the sort of typical respectable grey-haired pensioner who looked as though he was dressed for playing lawn bowls that you see in abundance at the return services league. He tilted the bottle up to examine the label, “It’s just cheap wine mate” I said casually. He quickly and cheerfully asked me “is it any good?” Something that struck me as odd, it was my understanding up until that point that any Australian who had been on this earth as long as I had, let alone whatever age he had achieved, would have disposed of more bottles of unequivocal domestic wine than rolls of paper towel absentmindedly. I simply said “Well, cheap wine is as cheap wine does”, he agreed with me and added something to the effect of “it’s nothing flash, ‘innit?” to which I added – “A big price tag a fine wine does not make”. A phrase I have, as far as I can figure out, have crafted my own. I have said in this company of humble Australian wine twice now, and in every case, it was met with total agreeance.

So, to that effect – Welcome to this, the Taylors Chardonnay. Something that came about as a byproduct of my recent attendance of weekly tastings at Dan Murphy’s (a store, I dare say I’ve officially buried the hatchet with). And in addition, it had never occurred to me to ever feature a white wine. It was always my intention that whenever I wrote of a wine, I always pondered the varieties of red wine as an unquestioned assumption. As white wine seldom vintaged, as neither did sparkling, hence the only reason this subconscious rule was ever broken. But having tasted this particular wine, I decided to variate these wine articles. Especially since it has been a while since I had done one of late anyway.

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The label; Taylors, is another prestigious Australian wine label. One of the “original twelve” wineries I’m told, a member of the group “Australia’s First Families of Wine”. Taylors being amongst one of the earliest family-founded labels of wine in the country, among other such recognizable labels like Brown Brothers, Campbell’s of Rutherglen, D’Arenberg, and others. The label was founded unto a one hundred and seventy eight hectare vineyard in the South Australian terroir of the Clare Valley in the year nineteen-sixty-nine. Incidentally the same year that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a random fact of little if any relevance that may or may not interest some American readers. The label still operates out of this vineyard to this day. The logo of the label, the three seahorses, came about when the vineyard dam was excavated and fossilized seahorses were discovered. As the area of the Clare Valley, is of course, irregards to the fact the area now resides three hundred meters above sea level, like so many other wineries in South Australia, an ancient sea bed. The climate of the Clare Valley, is described as Mediterranean. Mirroring the rich sun and cool maritime breezes that nourish the grapevines during the fruiting season. These cooling breezes, circulating northward from the antarctic and the uninhibited sun, are what make South Australia the richest in wine activity in Australia.

So, this bottle. The Chardonnay. I’m not commonly a white wine man as I said. Favoring a more full-bodied Merlot or a Cabernet-Sauvignon over a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. Although I protest any thought that I am adversed to them as a general rule. But the taste of this Chardonnay has caught my attention. Chardonnay, in appearance is the sort of grape you’d have remembered appearing in your lunchbox at school. An unsuspecting supermarket-familiar green-skinned grape. The species originated in the Bourgogne, or in the Queen’s English; Burgundy, France. A connection was suspected over time with the Pinot Noir grape species. They were commonly found in the same area of France and botanists noted their leaves were almost identical. This, later being disproved. Also notable, are other theories made by those of wineries in Syria and Lebanon stating the species was introduced from the Middle East by returning Crusaders. Also that the vine was introduced also from vines from Cyprus. Both lacking evidence credible to support these theories. But now, thanks to modern technology we know now that the species is the result of crossbreeding between the species Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc, Gouais Blanc a vine introduced into the area from Croatia and cultivated in Burgundy. The two types of wine were staples of the French aristocracy during the Georgian Era, and were grown by wineries in close proximity of one another. Giving the vines ample opportunity to interbreed. What is often said of Chardonnay is that the grapes will readily take upon the qualities of their terroir. So if ever there were any doubt of the pedigree of Australian wine and there need be a true cut and dry test, this is it.

So as for this bottle. A simple, run of the mill green wine bottle, indifferent from all other bottles, with a white this is simply more noticeable. A typical white label, glossy gold lettering, albeit adorned proudly with awards. From right to left, a silver medal from the Japan Wine Challenge, a gold from the Sommelier Challenge International Wines and Spirits Competition France, gold from the Mundus Vini International Wine Awards Germany, and two golds from the China Wine and Spirits Awards. And of course, the logo of the three seahorses. I inhale upon the breakage of the seal, the nose is the typical sweet, sour, fruity texture typical of Chardonnay, but with the addition of an underlying creamy, almost lemon-like scent. Poured into a glass, the stirred up sum releases a fragrance of rockmelon. Unusual and intriguing. The taste, amongst the expected fruity and mild nature expected of a Chardonnay, one of citrus, melon, nuts, and an underlying creamy texture that stirs a curiosity.

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In summary: A leisurely light-hearted and easygoing Chardonnay, but a definitive and elegant creaminess throughout. Building upon the ideology that the Chardonnay vine inherently reflects the quality and fertility of the terroir, this reaffirms the irrefutable truth that the soil beneath our feet just may be the best on planet earth. As said, I’m not a whites man, so unless demand for these is spurred as a result of this, I don’t plan on continuing these regularly. But I do enjoy this. Cheers

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