Jules Taylor is based in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, where the winemaker produces a series of eponymous, affordable bottlings. She was named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year for 2021. Let’s dig in to this trio of bottlings, all newly released.
2021 Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – Sauvignon blanc is Taylor’s specialty, and with this bottling it’s easy to understand why. Grassier and more mineral-heavy than the typical NZ sauvignon blanc, the wine is bright with notes of lemon peel and a smattering of fresh herb notes. Clean and inviting as it finishes up, it’s easily the best wine in this lineup — and the most affordable. A- / $14
2021 Jules Taylor Gruner Veltliner Marlborough – Kiwi gruner? Admittedly this hits the palate with closer to a riesling meets gewurztraminer character, although there’s a doughy consistency to it that harkens to a burlier style. Notes of sesame cookies and nougat inform a surprisingly mild and not overly acidic palate, though touches of mixed, fresh flowers and green herbs give the finish a slightly perfumed lift that at least hints at gruner. B / $19
2020 Jules Taylor Pinot Noir Marlborough – A tough and beefy pinot, underripe and dry as dust. Decidedly short on fruit, the wine is aggressive and tannic, turning green and a little bitter on the finish. It’s a hard slog from start to finish, with little to recommend it. D+ / $25