It’s not everyday that I am wooed by the Sauvignon Blancs south of the equator–namely any that are not of French birth. It seems, however, one woman has changed my mind: Jules Taylor. While her Sauvignon Blancs are absolutely nothing short of the nervy, electric versions one might expect from New Zealand, hers hits a key that is so perfectly placed on the palate, I can’t help but love it… especially as the mercury rises.
Her name instantly collects attention amongst those who know good wine. She has been an inspiration to so many in a country that has really rocked the world in recent decades with their ability to make first class, premium wine. Jules Taylor humbly seems to have no clue who she is, and her prices certainly don’t beg to differ (her Sauv Blanc a mere $16.99). She just goes to work every day, churning out some of New Zealand’s most focused, ‘place’-driven wines, everything from Gruner and Pinot Gris to Rose and Pinot Noir, but not the least of which her favorite: Sauvignon Blanc– a wine that proudly wears several gold medals of distinction from tasting competitions.
Jules is described as such: “Jules is the winemaker, the visionary, the dreamer, the motivator, the laugher, the chivvier, mother of Louis, Nico and godmother to several hundred thousand little grapes. She’s also a pretty nice person. Jules is married to George.” If that doesn’t give you a glimpse of her humor, character and realness, I don’t know what does. But don’t let her fool you. Her career began with an academic degree in zoology. Noting quickly its lack of demand in the employment force, she went on to study winemaking. She traveled the world and worked under those in Italy, Sicily and Australia. Returning to her home, loaded with knowledge but proud of her roots, she went at it to create the country’s finest. And she has. Bar none. Her Sauvignon Blanc is her pride and joy–the purest expression of her homeland. In this particular vintage, the sun was not so vociferous as it can be. Cooler temperatures are spoken in each sip. Tight chords and balanced harmony make for a sensational song on the tongue, dancing with radiant citrus, contemplative herbs and a touch of the tropics in its fruit.
Chapeau, Ms. Taylor. You have given me refreshing perspective on a grape from a place I thought just wasn’t my thing. I absolutely love being proved wrong when it tastes so darn good!