Jules Taylor Wines source their grapes from small vineyards in the Wairau and Awatere Valleys in Marlborough, New Zealand. Well, not so much from vineyards as back corners of vineyards, rises and hollows and dry-as bits of vineyards. Jules is the winemaker. George Elworthy is married to Jules. He is self-described as a ‘burnt out winemaker’ – which is grossly unfair as you can’t burn wine – and is in charge of the marketing, selling, and stuff that needs doing. When George decided to dust off his winemaking hat to create a new range of wines from Marlborough, a friendly rivalry arose and The Better Half seemed like the moniker to attach to his new project. Stop by this Saturday as we taste through a few of Jules and Georges wines.
2016 The Better Half, Sauvignon Blanc $13
This crisp and characteristically Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has zesty stone fruit aromas of peach, apricot and nectarine along with a lively citrus on its palate combined with layered tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and guava.
2015 Jules Taylor, Grunier Veltliner $17
The best way to describe Grüner Veltliner is that it’s a cool climate wine somewhere between an aromatic white and a chardonnay. This NZ version is a vibrant wine bursting with lemon and white peaches with a delicate coating of vanilla and a tingly white pepper bite. It provides a nice dry backbone yet is layered and creamy with soft acidity and nutty nuances and texture from the wild ferment.
2016 Jules Taylor, On The Quiet Pinot Noir Rosé $20
The grapes for this Rosé are from the Branken Hill Vineyard, which is located in the Hawkesbury area of Marlborough’s southern valleys. Jules noted a special parcel of Pinot Noir tucked into the eastern corner of the vineyard suited to Rosé. This wine 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 subtle tones of natural honey dew and Manuka flower and balance between crisp dryness and its mouth-watering acidity.
2015 The Better Half Pinot Noir $17
This fruit-driven Pinot Noir is generous on the nose showing dark cherry, plum, and vibrant red raspberry and cranberry aromas which gradually open to reveal subtle dried thyme notes and hints of cocoa. The palate is full of vibrant bright fruit, this wine exhibits plum, cherry and cranberry flavors, well-balanced with earthy, savory undertones with a delightful layer of chocolate.
2016 Jules Taylor Pinot Noir $22
JT’s Pinot Noir is generous on the nose, showing vibrant aromas of dark cherry, black plum and hints of spice. The wild fermentation along with extended lees maturation have added complexity and texture to the dark cherry and raspberry characters found on the palate. The finish is dry with a nice touch of dark chocolate.
Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2pm until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5pm.