Vintage From Heaven - Unveiling 2014 Exceptional Parcel Releases

November 21, 2023
The Visionary 2014 was crowned ‘World’s Best Cabernet’ at the Concours International des Cabernet, a major competition held in the birthplace of the famed variety, France, and judged by the country’s leading sommeliers.

“It was surreal - the wine we crafted to stand up against some of the best in the world going on to take the title for World’s Best Cabernet in the place where our family journey began” Taylor said.

The winemaking team have continued to hone their meticulous viticulture and winemaking techniques with The Visionary, focusing on select parcels from the family’s estate that embody the elegance of Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

The series of blocks earmarked for this wine include the A70 and ‘Edwina’ E20 blocks from the St Andrews vineyard, the latter being a young, but very exciting parcel on the Taylors family property. This wine also includes parcels from the W10 block, which are some of the oldest blocks located on the Wakefield River flats.

In the winery, the fruit was gently de-stemmed and quickly chilled to 4°C prior to being transferred to small Potter fermenters for initial fermentation. During this time the wine was afforded extended skin contact for further colour extraction and tannin integration.

Following secondary malolactic fermentation, the wine was transferred to a selection of exceptional quality fine-grained French oak barrels - 40% of which were new, with the balance spread across a selection of two and three-year-old barrels.

After 12 months of maturation, a scrupulous barrel selection assessment determined which parcels were deemed ‘exceptional’. These parcels then returned to barrel for eight months before bottling in April 2017. Of the wine itself, the President of the Association des Sommeliers Lyonnais et Rhône-Alpes Laurent Derhé (named Best Sommelier in France, 2007) noted in his assessment that The Visionary 2014 was “a Cabernet with a superb, sparkling garnet robe. A nose both complex and open, and should please everyone.

A Vision for the Future - The Pioneer Shiraz 2014

Wakefield The Pioneer 2014 continues our family’s endeavour to craft wines that exemplify the Clare Valley’s exceptional terroir, this time showcasing the powerful elegance of Shiraz.

When founding the original Taylor family vineyard in 1969, second-generation Bill Taylor had the astute foresight to recognise the emerging popularity of Shiraz. While the original plan was to plant the vineyard predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon, Bill insisted a small portion be allocated to Shiraz.

His determination to do things differently paid off, as the emergence of Australian Shiraz took hold around the world. His pioneering spirit is honoured with this special release wine.

Harvested at the point of optimal flavour and tannin development, the fruit for this wine was sourced from some of the oldest Shiraz blocks on the Estate property, including A30, also known as GOD, and the family’s original 80 Acres and S50 blocks. In good years, the winemaking team notes that these blocks bring depth, varietal concentration and texture to low yielding fruit of small berry size.

In the winery, each parcel was gently destemmed and chilled before being left to cold soak in fermentation vessels for four days. Primary fermentation took place in new, American oak barrels with the heads removed, allowing an extended period of open barrel fermentation.

The fermenting must was then hand plunged twice daily to aid in gentle colour and tannin extraction, adding to the wine’s deep crimson hue. After a ten day period of extended skin contact, the wines were pressed, racked off lees and transferred back to the reassembled barrels for secondary malolactic fermentation.

Post malolactic fermentation, the wine was matured in a selection of AP John Vicard fine-grained American oak barrels (40% new and the balance in a selection of one, two and three-year-old barrels). Following 12 months of maturation, an extensive barrel selection process was undertaken and only those parcels deemed as ‘exceptional’ were returned to barrel for a further 10 months prior to bottling in May 2016.

Of the winemaker’s notes, The Pioneer Shiraz 2014 is seductive, with luxurious layers of berry fruit, followed by spicy fruitcake, licorice and sweet leather. The texture is plush with velvety tannins mingling harmoniously with the fruit characters. The wine concludes on the palate with an insistently lingering finish.

Sophistication in Packaging

As detailed as the wine itself, The Visionary and The Pioneer’s packaging showcases the great care taken by the winemaking team to craft these exceptional wines.

The label stock is specially sourced from an Italian mill founded in 1717, lending to the wine’s pedigree and heritage. This stock features as a dust jacket across the accompanying vintage booklet, as well as the front label. Each carries a large blind sculpted emboss of the Wakefield seahorse crest.

Each bottle is hand-labelled and hand-numbered before being placed in a bespoke gift box lined in black linen. The packaging design is complete with an outer sleeve featuring a large laser die-cut Wakefield seahorse crest, completing the timeless design.