Darren McMullen names Australia’s best summer wine: Taylors St Andrews Chardonnay 2017

The 90-minute road trip from Adelaide to South Australia’s Clare Valley is always a treat but when the destination is the Taylors cellar door at Auburn, it’s hard to keep the foot off the pedal.

The Taylor family were originally hoteliers but, in 1969, following a “hunch” that there was a gap in the market for quality Australian wines, the family sold up their Sydney businesses and headed for the Clare Valley.

It proved an inspired decision – the rich terroir of the valley provides optimum conditions for grapes. The family’s very first vintage was an award winner and set the bar for the successes that followed. Three generations later, it seems vines are in the Taylor DNA and the vineyard remains very much a family affair.

My last visit, pre-Covid of course, was at harvest time and it’s difficult to imagine a more fun, colorful and fragrant experience. The Taylor cellar door is one of the largest in the country, but the staff strive to make every visit personal, with tastings adapted on the go to visitors’ preferences.

There’s a range of experiences, which you can enjoy along with a picnic, cricket or boules game on the lawns. Choose from simple $5 tastings to the $15 tastings with a choice between perfectly paired cheeses or the delicious richness of the chocolate platters. For the connoisseur, the $25 Pinnacle experience provides samplings of the finest Taylors’ St Andrews wines, carefully matched with excellent local produce.

Darren’s pick

Taylors St Andrews Chardonnay 2017 is Darren's top summer choice

Taylors St Andrews Chardonnay 2017, $43
Not content with amassing accolades, the Taylors turned their attention to crafting limited-edition wines that would rank with the world’s best. The St Andrews range was born from this venture, and while many of the rich,  mellow reds delight, I’d say summer afternoons call for a special white. The unoaked chardonnays are clear and crisp, with hints of citrus and apple. However, my personal favourite is the lightly oaked 2017 chardonnay, where the grape’s peach flavours are enhanced by spicy, vanilla oak, well-deserving of its five-gold-medal status.

This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com

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