We recently caught up with Mitchell Taylor of Taylor Wines to chat about his philosophy on wine, how you can tell a good wine and the age old debate of cork vs cap.
1. What is the most popular type of wine produced in Clare Valley and why?
Clare Valley is internationally renowned for its cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and riesling. Our 2009 St Andrews Shiraz is one of our most heavily awarded wines, having just picked up its 10th gold medal in the last twelve months!
2. What is your overall philosophy when it comes to winemaking?
The Taylors philosophy rests on the principle that the finest wines are those made with the greatest dedication and care. Above all our imperative is to ‘respect the fruit’. We understand the importance of, preserving and honouring the fruit from our vineyards. Our aim is to achieve balance, elegance and finesse in every wine.
3. What makes Taylor Wines so popular?
We have a brilliant range of wines, with something for everyone. Taylors are absolutely passionate about upholding the family tradition of producing world-class wines. We were thrilled to take out ‘Best of Nation’ for a record fifth time at the biggest and most prestigious wine show in the United States, the San Francisco International Wine Competition. We also won ‘Australian Winery of the Year’ at the New York International Wine Competition.
4. How can you tell a good wine?
A favourite wine comes down to personal taste, but good and bad wines are black and white. You can tell when a wine has been made with care – sure, you can have brilliant fruit and a winery packed to the rafters with the best winemaking equipment, but if you don’t respect the fruit … if you don’t take your time and pay attention to the finer details of the winemaking process, it’s going to show in the wine.
5. Where is your favourite place to drink when you’re in Sydney?
If I have the opportunity, lunch and a glass of wine at Grappa or Catalina is always enjoyable! If I was just enjoying a glass of wine the Woollahra Hotel is an old favourite.
6. What’s your favourite wine to drink in winter?
Wine lovers will often reach for a bottle of full-bodied red in winter, not forgetting about the gorgeous pairing of a full-bodied, silky chardonnay with a rich winter meal.
7. Tell us your favourite food and wine pairing of all time.
I recently enjoyed a tender milk fed lamb, cooked to a perfect rosy pink. The tender, subtly flavoured meat was matched perfectly with a glass of St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon. Blissfully simple and blissfully good! Matching wine and food is really about personal taste – it’s about enhancing flavours to bring out the best in both the food and the wine.
8. Where would we find you when you´re not making wine?
I would most likely be at home spending time with my family.
9. Cork vs cap? Which do you prefer and why?
Taylors was the first major Australian winery to only use screw-cap closures in 2004, when we literally pulled the cork and put the lid on our entire range of red and white. We made our first-ever sparkling wine last year and we put some of this under screw cap too. There is just too much risk of a cork spoiling the wine – we lost too much good wine to corks over the years.
10. What bottle of wine would you bring to a potluck dinner?
I’d bring a vermentino or a gewürztraminer – or one of our Taylors Winemaker’s Project wines.
We’re also giving away a wine fridge with a 28 bottle capacity and a six-pack of award winning 2010 Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon. To enter, tell us (in 25 words or less) what you would give us out of your fridge in return for a wine fridge. Most creative answer wins. Winner notified July 12th.