Winemaker Mitchell Taylor hopes that the success of St Andrews Riesling in the 2020 USA Wine Ratings is indicative of an increasingly bright future for Taylors Wines, as the three generations old winemaking family seek to expand their presence in the world’s largest wine market.
The 2019 St Andrews Riesling from Clare Valley, Wakefield Taylors Wines scored 97 points in the USA Wine Ratings and took away six medals including: Gold medal, Wine Of The Year, Winery Of The Year, Best In Show By Country, Best In Show By Varietal, and Best Wine By Quality at the 2020 USA Wine Ratings.
Of the win, Taylor said: “Not only are we Wine of the Year but also Winery Of The Year. It is a tribute to the team at Clare Valley who take such pride in making top class wine in the region that does it so well.”
The USA Wine Ratings judging panel is made up of trade industry professionals and the award-winning wines are all the more notable because the wines in contest are those that have won at more than one of their shows in the months prior.
“It shows that this wine is consistently being judged above others,” said Taylor.
Retailing for around $25.00 a bottle, Mitchell describes the wine as elegant, with limey and citrus flavours. Because Riesling is so delicate, the grapes are not fed through a crusher but instead the whole bunch is fed into the presser, set to the lightest pressure and the winemakers take the first press to make the wine.
The opportunity in the US market, particularly given the uncertainty of China, is part of Taylor Wines’ international strategy. Last year the business employed a person on the road to sell their wines into the US and Canada, and they have developed a relationship with the Taub family, fine wine merchants who import wine from around the world to the US.
Taylor believes there is a real opportunity to tell a fine wine Australian story in both the US and Canada, particularly looking to Australia’s success selling fine wines to the middle class in China. Mitchell believes there is just as much potential to do so in America.
“We need to re-pivot to the exciting export markets available to us. The USA is the largest wine market in the world and there is the greatest opportunity there for Australian wine to get it right.
“Wine Australia are spending their marketing dollars in the US to lift perceptions and the territory has just as much potential for us as China,” he said.
In the 3rd edition of the USA Wine Ratings, wines from 30 different countries were submitted with United States, Spain, Italy being the top 3 entrants. There were new additions like Ireland and Brazil. The top 3 varieties submitted were cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and pinot noir.
This year’s competition was the best as far as the quality of wines entered, according to the judges. There were 162 gold winners, 635 silver winners, and 127 bronze winners at this year’s competition.