Region: Clare Valley
St. Andrews is regarded as Taylors upper quality wines. They started making wines under this banner in 1999, displaying their “flagship” wines. Flagship refers to a winery’s best wines, and true to the term “flagship”, Taylors will only release under this banner in their finer vintages.
Before I get onto the review of this wine, I want to give you a run down on Riesling. This grape, comes in two types of formats. In Germany, (where the grape originated) you will find that the wine that comes from Germany is sweet. The French got their hands on to the grape as well, and then started producing wines that were crisp, acidic and displaying magnificent mineral flavours.
Here in Australia, we have adopted both types of formats in making Riesling. In Australia, Riesling made like they do in France is common place. However, we do produce Riesling like the German’s, and here in Australia you will find it labeled as “Late Harvest.”
One more thing before I get onto the wine. Please don’t keep your wine in the fridge! If you can, pop it into a wine fridge with a regulated temperature of around 12 degrees Celsius. If you don’t have a wine fridge, then store the wine in a cool part of the house, away from any external walls and vibrations and heat. When it comes to drinking your white wines, the ample serving temperature is between 8 and 14 degrees. So around about an hour before you plan on drinking you can stick it in the fridge just to bring the temperature down a bit. When you have a wine that is served too cold the flavors just don’t “pop” and it just doesn’t open up and everything clashes and things start to fall flat. It is kind of like cooking a good steak, you bring it to room temperature before cooking. Like a steak, let the wine relax and bring a little warmth to it.
Now on to the wine.
A nose of Lemon and Lime zest with hints of orange, surrounded by mineral notes like talcum powder stand out.
The palate runs with lemon and lime juices upfront almost dancing on the palate, and then working deeper in to the wine the mineral flavour comes into play. Keeping this wine in check. If you give it a good swish around in your mouth you will really notice the citrus flavours trying to break free, and a display of sweetness starts to run through, but then that is kept in check by that mineral slate character. The finish is crisp and acidic as is the showpiece behind all good Clare Valley Riesling.
The Clare Valley is famous for its Riesling, for one main reason. The soil in which the grapes are planted is magnificent limestone. Riesling just laps that beautiful limestone character up and it transmits through their wines. When shopping for Riesling places like Watervale and Springvale in the Clare Valley produce some of the best Riesling’s in the world and yes, even a white wine can command a high price. Grosset’s “:Polish Hill” commands upwards of $80.00 a bottle.
Just before I conclude, there are people out there that don’t think that white wines can be cellared, but you would be wrong. Riesling and Chardonnay are two wines that can definitely go the distance so don’t be afraid to stick them away in a dark place for a little while.
With that being said, this wine will still be drinking well in the next 10 years, and quite possibly even longer. I have consumed this wine only 5 years in, and I still think it has more to offer. I would have probably liked to give it another couple of years before I opened it. However, the citrus is starting to mellow down on the nose. Therefore, this wine is starting to turn and in another 5 years again will be drinking superbly.
It scores a 92/100
The SA Wine Guy