Out of stock

The Pioneer

Shiraz 2014

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.

Member Price
$701.25 / case
Standard Price
$825.00 / case
Expert Appraisals


  • Isaac James Baker, Terroirist

    1 Nov 2018
    93 Points
    Gorgeous fruit… deep floral complexity… lots of savory, earthy tones as well… many years of lovely evolution ahead…
    Read more Read less
More Information
Previous Vintages 2012, 2013
Region Clare Valley
Colour At release, the wine is a deep crimson red with vibrant rose, purple hue.
Nose Fresh aniseed, hints of polished leather, dark chocolate, plum and spice with subtle smoky oak. Tightly knitted aromas unwind with aeration.
Palate 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.
Vintage Conditions 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.
Oak Maturation 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 exceptional and these were returned to barrel for a further 10 months maturation prior to bottling.
Cellaring Notes Immediately approachable but will cellar well in ideal conditions for up to 20 years from vintage date.
Alc%: 14.5
Acid: 7.07
Residual Sugar: 0.49
Wine Type: Red
Wine Body: Full
Blend or Single Variety: Single Variety
Pack Size: Single: 750ml bottle Case: 3 x 750ml bottle
  • David Bicknell, James Halliday Wine Companion

    Aug 2019
    95 points
    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.
  • Rich Cook, Wine Review Online

    Dec 2018
    95 Points
    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.
  • Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online

    Dec 2018
    94 Points
    Though not as evolved or showing the early signs of maturity that are obvious in the 2013 vintage, the 2014 Pioneer... offers exceptional density on the palate and ripe black-fruit character with firm structure and excellent balance.
  • Ken Gargett, Explore Drinks

    Jul 2020
    94 Points
    The Pioneer Shiraz 2014 is the third release of their elite Shiraz, treated in much the same way as the Cabernet although the oak is American, not French. Production is also usually around the 250 case mark. Cloves, spices. Dry herbs, old leather. It has a lovely maturity but comes alive on the palate. Fine tannins. Some smoked meat notes come in towards the finish. Good length with a slow fade.
  • Isaac James Baker, Terroirist

    Nov 2018
    93 Points
    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.
  • Huon Hooke, The Real Review

    Feb 2019
    93 Points
    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
  • MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator

    Oct 2018
    92 Points
    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.
  • Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com

    Jun 2019
    91 Points
    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.
  • Christina Pickard, Wine Enthusiast

    Jan 2020
    90 Points
    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.
  • Ronn Weigand MW, MS, Restaurant Wine

    Aug 2019
    5 stars
    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%
  • , Winestate

    Oct 2018
    4 Stars
    Great mature complexity obvious on the nose with a big creamy sweet black fruit palate. A touch warm on the finish.
  • Richard Hemming MW, Jancis Robinson

    Jan 2019
    17.5 Points
    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.
  • Adler Yarrow, Vinography

    Jul 2020
    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.