Colour: A deep crimson red with vibrant purple hue.
Nose: Fragrant spice, dark cherry, plum, dark chocolate, freshly roasted coffee beans, charred oak.
Palate: This a commanding wine with multiple layers of intense, lush dark berry fruit followed by spicy fruitcake and then seductive mocha. The palate is full and generous but with precision to the structure and the texture most appealing with velvety, mouth-coating tannins mingling harmoniously with fruit and spice. Elegant acids and light, long tannins carry the palate to a persistently rewarding finish.
Cellaring: Up to 20 years from vintage.
Click here to download full winemaker note.
One thing I couldn't foresee was the arrival of another Exceptional Parcel Release wine in the form of 2012 Wakefield, The Pioneer Exceptional Parcel Release Shiraz. This is the debut vintage of yet another staggeringly serious wine from the hands of Chief Winemaker Adam Eggins. He is taking Wakefield/Taylors into new territory, not with the source of fruit – this is from their best blocks – but with his immense skills in the winery. Barrel fermentation and extended skin contact are the techniques employed here and while one of these practices sounds too sexy for words I can assure you that they are fraught with danger. As Adam pushes his wines further, trapping layered elegance as he goes, he is breaking new ground and recruiting fans all over the world. The Pioneer will continue the work that The Visionary started back in 2009. Both wines have an insane depth of chewy fruit and an impressive retinue of tannins which never seem too sour or over-extracted. The Pioneer packs coffee bean notes into its velvety folds while The Visionary has a grace to power ratio that both the 2009 and 2010 can only dream of.
Matthew Jukes, 100 Best Australian Wines.
Collectors take note — this is a wine for the ages. That said, it's so good now that it may never make it to your grandchild's college graduation party. Everything is neatly in its place here, with no protruding sharp edges or "look at me" characteristics. Rich black cherry and berry fruit mix with mint, dark chocolate and warm spice ride a wave of supple tannins through an incredibly long finish. I'm a fan of wines for the table, but I don't think I'd put any edibles alongside this bottle. Absolutely riveting Shiraz.
98 points, Rich Cook,
Wine Review Online, April 2015
Australia has its share of impressive wines and I would submit Wakefield's The Pioneer Shiraz is positioned to take its place alongside the likes of Grange and other better-known powerhouse reds from Down Under. This suave, supple Shiraz offers richly layered aromas of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry, with a hint of mocha and spice. It is exquisitely balanced and refined, that rare wine that literally stops you in your tracks upon the first sip. It is an astonishing winemaking achievement and Wakefield deserves the kudos.
97 points, Robert Whitley,
Wine Review Online, April 2015
A very creamy yet juicy palate of black currant and fleshier black berry, with highly distinctive smoked charcuterie and subtler mocha notes. On day two, focused but less tightly wound fruit asserts its presence more strongly (over the oak). Ripe but present, gently grippy tannins anchor the slippery fruit (slippery in the sense it doesn't dominate the palate). The finish is long, savoury, very elegant and fluid with well-defined fresh fruit and cool, mineral acidity. A finely honed Clare Valley Shiraz; impressive.
Sarah Ahmed, April 2015
Fresh, vivid nose of pure cherries and plums with some hints of mint and spice, as well as a bit of blackberry. The palate is vivid and fresh with nice precision to the berry fruits and some fine spiciness. There's a juiciness here as well as good concentration of fruit, and everything is nicely supported by fine-grained tannins. Sleek and refined, and not in any way a monster, with real elegance. This should have a long future.
94 points, Jamie Goode, June 2015