At release, the wine is a deep crimson red with vibrant rose, purple hue.
Fresh aniseed, hints of polished leather, dark chocolate, plum and spice with subtle smoky oak. Tightly knitted aromas unwind with aeration.
This a seductive wine with luxurious layers of berry fruit, spicy fruitcake, licorice & sweet leather. The palate is full and generous but with precision to the structure. Velvety tannins mingle harmoniously with the fruit characters. The wine concludes on the palate with a lingering finish.
The growing season leading up to vintage 2014 saw average autumn & winter rainfalls and average temperatures. Whilst rainfall for spring was below average, vine vigour was good due to the levels of subsurface moisture. In early December there was a cool change & 16mm of rain fell. The rest of Dec and first half of Jan were dry & warm with no heatwaves due to regular cool changes. From mid-Jan to mid-Feb, hot conditions prevailed and harvest commenced early. A big downpour of rain mid-Feb bought the hot conditions to an end, changing to mild and cool. These conditions retained acid levels and slowed sugar development, crucially allowing time for the flavours to develop. The mild conditions continued through March, allowing ideal tannin & flavour development in the resultant wines.
Post MLF, the wine was matured in a selection of AP John and Vicard fine-grained American oak barrels ?40 % in new oak and the balance in a selection of one, two & three year old barrels. After 12 months a painstaking barrel selection assessment was undertaken to identify those parcels deemed as ?xceptional?and these were returned to barrel for a further 10 months maturation prior to bottling
Immediately approachable but will cellar well in ideal conditions for up to 20 years from vintage date.
Like the St Andrews, fermented in headless barrels before pressing and retuning for 22 months maturation. In a similar vein, oak is a key feature. It's mature, showing more savoury notes than the sweet notes of a young wine. Lots of brown spice, cedar, cigar box and vanilla sitting with ripe plummy fruit. The tannins are grainy, driving to the long finish.
I enjoyed tasting this bottling side by side with the 2013, and I’m scoring them equivalently, though they are quite different in character. This wine is on the bolder side -- partly due to youth, but mainly due to a bit more ripeness of fruit and a bit less barrel influence. A great mix of black and blue are the lead fruit voices here, with soft menthol and savory notes adding depth and interest. A fine demonstration of what vintage variation actually is, and another cellar worthy wine.
Though not as evolved or showing the early signs of maturity that are obvious in the 2013 vintage, the 2014 Pioneer from Wakefield offers exceptional density on the palate and ripe black-fruit character with firm structure and excellent balance.
Deep purple color. Gorgeous fruit, blackberries and blueberries, juicy and ripe, with espresso, pepper, anise and earth, but I get deep floral complexity here compared to the 2013. Plump, rich, yet velvety, acidity provides some nice balance to the bold blackberry and blueberry fruit. Complex elements of violets, clove, earth, anise, black tea, dark chocolate, and there are lots of savory, earthy tones as well. Velvety but vibrant, this has many years of lovely evolution ahead. Aged 20 months in French oak.
The bouquet is toasty and developed, with meaty charcuterie nuances and savoury, walnutty, earthy oak-and-bottle-aged characters. The wine is very concentrated and rich, deep and supple in spite of lashings of tannin. The finish is dry but balanced. Oak makes its presence felt more than in its running-mate, the 2014 Visionary Cabernet. 26/2/2019
Thick and dense, but there’s some polish to the tannins, with black walnut, vanilla, mocha and cassis flavors at the core. Generous and velvety on the spicy, espresso-laced finish. Drink now through 2034.
A very taut, brambly red-berry and plum-fruited shiraz that has some earthy aromas, threaded through the ripe fruit. The medium-bodied palate has ripe tannins and a lozenge of zippy acidity at the finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
This premium Clare Valley Shiraz still feels fairly youthful, even with six years of age. Dense and chocolatey, like a Black Forest cake, it needs time in a decanter and then reveals lighter, more tangy red-fruit and licorice notes. There's plenty of wood-spice and cola character from the oak influence, too. The palate is held firmly in place by powerful, woody tannins but the fruit is rich enough to hold its own. Big, polished and fairly well balanced, this should continue to cellar until 2029.
The Pioneer is exceptional: fleshy in texture, richly flavored, and full bodied, with complex aromas/flavors (blackberry, cherry jam, cassis, loganberry, toasty oak, cedar), good balance, and a long, lightly tannic finish. Beginning to drink well now, but can be aged several more years. Named for Bill Taylor, the winery founder, who was a Shiraz pioneer in Clare Valley. This is the third release. 4 day cold soak. Aged 12 months in American oak barrels, 40% new. 14.5%
To be released 2019. Sweet, confected blackcurrant and spice with strong vanilla oak up front. Furry tannic character that coats the palate. Ripe fruited, but stops short of overcooked. Just a little alcoholic warmth on the finish, and a touch of eucalpyt too.
Very dark garnet in color, this wine smells of black cherry, blackberry and chopped herbs. In the mouth, prunes and blackberry flavors are gathered up in a tight fist of muscular tannins that squeeze a bit as the wine finishes with notes of leather and black cherry. 14.5% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap.