The Pioneer

Shiraz 2012

This pinnacle release Shiraz is crafted from the very finest fruit selection and is entirely estate grown and bottled on the Taylor family estate in the Clare Valley, South Australia.

More Information
Region Clare Valley
Colour At release, the wine is a vibrant, mid-dense purple crimson with a deep, black cherry-skin core.
Nose There is fragrant spice, dark cherry, plum, dark chocolate, freshly roasted coffee beans and charry oak characters.
Palate Generous & rounded at first with juicy, deep berry compote fruits then yielding to a tightly woven frame of firm yet generous tannins. There are alluring oak and fine dark chocolate characters, with a deep, soft centre of ripe berry fruits. Elegant acids and light, long tannins carry the palate to a lingering finish.
Vintage Conditions Growing conditions leading up to vintage 2012 were relatively mild, with regular spring rains promoting excellent vine canopy growth. Harvest conditions were excellent with only 1 substantial rain event. Overall, yields were lower than long-term averages but the quality was outstanding across all varieties, with intense colour & excellent flavour development.
Oak Maturation Post MLF, the wine was matured in fine grain American oak barrels ?40 % in new oak & the balance in 1, 2 & 3 year old barrels. A barrel selection assessment was undertaken after 6 months to identify ?xceptional?parcels & returned to barrel for a further 10 months.
Cellaring Notes Immediately approachable but will cellar well in ideal conditions for up to 20 years from vintage date.
Alc%: 14
Acid: 6.51
Residual Sugar: 0.69
Wine Type: Red
Wine Body: Full
Blend or Single Variety: Single Variety
Pack Size: Single: 750ml bottle Case: 3 x 750ml bottle
  • Rich Cook, Wine Reviews Online

    Jan 2015
    98/100
    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 mixed 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.
  • Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online

    Jan 2015
    97/100
    Australia has its share of impressive wines and I would submit Taylors'sThe 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 Taylors deserves the kudos.
  • Huon Hooke, HuonHooke.com

    Jan 2016
    96/100
    Deep, rich red colour with the faintest tint of purple. Decadent oak-fruit combination of aromas suggests dark chocolate, vanilla, fruitcake and charred-oak, the latter not as obvious as in the St Andrews shiraz. In the mouth, it's decadently rich and lush, opulent and endowed with smooth, velvety texture. The tannins are ripe and supple, smooth and harmonious. An unabashedly oak-driven, big, super-ripe Aussie red. A superb example of its type. (Inaugural release. A tribute to family patriarch Bill Taylor)
  • , Australian Wine Review

    Jan 2015
    93/100
    Dark red purple, an oak forest or two died for this wine. Still, underneath there is mint, the oak contributing caramel, the palate surprisingly balanced and even mid weight with its purple red fruit, chocolate and lovely texture. Oak and fruit are big, but the palate texture and weight nods to high class wine. It's still oak-sweet and tart on the finish, but quality wine no doubt.
  • Isaac Baker, The Terroirist

    Jan 2015
    93/100
    Rich purple color. Complex nose that needs time to open up and show it’s full bounty, but I start getting black cherry, blueberry and black currant mixed in with notes of bacon fat, black pepper, mushroom, notes of roasted coffee, eucalyptus and anise. Full-bodied, firm tannins but they’re smoothed out around the edges, and an impressive amount of acid holds the wine together. Black cherry, blueberry and dark currant fruit, tart and crunchy but full of sweet flavors. A complex web of black pepper, soy sauce, cedar, eucalyptus and mint makes this a delight to sip and ponder. Long finish with deep notes of asphalt and minerals. Rich and mouth-filling but so elegant. Really bold and worthy of cellar development, but impressive in its accessibility and vibrancy at this young point.
  • Marc Hinton, Enobytes

    Jan 2017
    93/100
    If you are looking for an awesome celebration wine, look no further. This 2012 Taylors Shiraz ‘The Pioneer‘ from the Clare Valley, Australia is generous and balanced. An impressive oak aging regimen imparts a hint of tropical coconut flavors that accompany the usual vanilla notes conveyed through the oak. This wine will make an excellent addition to any celebration meal, especially if that meal has a Beef Wellington or Prime Rib Roast on the menu. If you happen to be looking for a gift to appease a wine enthusiast who loves big red wines that are complex and elegant, look no further.
  • Marc Hinton, Enobytes

    Jan 2017
    93/100
    Generous and balanced. An impressive oak aging regimen imparts a hint of tropical coconut flavors that accompany the usual vanilla notes conveyed through the oak. This wine will make an excellent addition to any celebration meal, especially if that meal has a Beef Wellington or Prime Rib Roast on the menu. If you happen to be looking for a gift to appease a wine enthusiast who loves big red wines that are complex and elegant, look no further.
  • Josh Raynolds, Vinous

    Jan 2016
    93/100
    (fermented and aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels): Bright purple. Fresh blackberry, potpourri, sandalwood and woodsmoke on the assertively perfumed nose. Stains the palate with vibrant black and blue fruit compote flavors enlivened by juicy acidity and a strong jolt of white pepper. Zesty minerality adds lift and cut to a strikingly long, focused, smoothly tannic finish.
  • Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

    Jan 2015
    92/100
    Dark and deep, with layers of black olive, black cherry, tobacco and pepper flavors on a supple frame, lingering expressively on the generous finish. Best from 2018 through 2022
  • Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

    Jan 2015
    92+/100
    Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2012 The Pioneer Shiraz exudes expressive scents of blackberries, mulberries and plums dotted with baking spices, vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium-bodied, the complex and elegant palate is amplified by spicy flavors, very fine-grained and silky tannins, and a long finish.
  • Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

    Jan 2016
    92+/100
    Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2012 The Pioneer Shiraz exudes expressive scents of blackberries, mulberries and plums dotted with baking spices, vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium-bodied, the complex and elegant palate is amplified by spicy flavors, very fine-grained and silky tannins, and a long finish.
  • Ronn Weigand MW, MS, Restaurant Wine

    Jan 2016
    5 Stars
    FIRST RELEASE. Screw cap. First rate Shiraz: rich, supple, and full bodied; a wine with evident complexity, a long palate evolution, and a very long, persistent finish. It is very ripely flavored (not overripe), lightly oaky, and firm and mildly tannic finish. Warrants further aging. Named for Bill Taylor, the winery founder, who was a Shiraz pioneer in Clare Valley. Produced from selected Clare Valley blocks, including the St. Andrews vineyard. 4 day cold soak. Aged 6 months in American oak barrels, partially new. 14% [2018-2024]
  • , Winestate

    Jan 2015
    3 stars
    Intense focused aromas and a lean linear palate. Elegant with a long life ahead of it.
  • Richard Hemming MW, Jancis Robinson

    Jan 2016
    17.5 Points
    Mint, meat and rich bramble fruit. Such lovely typical fruit generosity. Serious and savoury on the finish with a very long tar aftertaste.
  • , Financial Review

    Jan 2015
    The Pioneer Shiraz is the latest rare parcel release from Taylors Wines. It's vibrant, elegant, with deep berry fruit and generous tannins.
  • Roger Jones, The Buyer

    Jan 2017
    Generous and rounded with juicy, deep berry compote fruits , firm but gentle tannins. Coconut and fine dark chocolate characters, with a deep concentration of bright berries, luscious and lingering.
  • Joe Roberts, 1WineDude

    Jan 2016
    OK, so much for the bargains, right? We can and should show the Aussies some love when they achieve the creation of wines like this one. My mini-review of The Pioneer: “Like inhaling the entire finals of a barbecue competition.” C’mon, that’s wine review gold right there… I don’t know any carnivores among us who wouldn’t at least want to try this wine based on that description, just to see if I was right…
  • Andrew Catchpole, Harpers Wine & Spirits

    Jan 2016
    Matching elegance with power with a purity, showing berryish, savoury and spicy notes.
  • , The WIne Merchant

    Jan 2016
    The Taylor family have pulled out all the stops for this top-of-the-range Shiraz. Winemaker Adam Eggins and the Taylors viticultural team picked out their favoured blocks early in the 2012 vintage, bringing together a 'range of micro-climates and elevations' across the Clare Valley. For the judges, the approach paid off. "Concentrated, epic, a massive mouthful," they said. "Dark fruits, cigar box and tobaccor with notes of dark chocolate, too. The length is huge, but it's a very elegant, stylish wine - exceptional quality and very true to its origins.