We're proud to announce the official 2014 vintage releases of its pinnacle Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines - The Visionary 2014 and The Pioneer 2014. These extremely limited wines honour our family winery’s original founders, Bill Taylor Snr. and his son Bill Taylor respectively, whose vision and pioneering spirit set the foundations for the success of the Taylor family winery today.
The wines are crafted only during exceptional vintages, utilising a selection of the finest fruit available on our family’s Estate property in the Clare Valley.
“2014 in the Clare Valley will go down as a vintage from heaven, the most difficult decision was the precise moment to pick the fruit” third-generation winemaker and Managing Director Mitchell Taylor said.
“Wines from the 2014 vintage are shaping up to be some of our best releases yet, proving themselves at both domestic and international award shows. They are a bold contrast to wines from the previous vintage and show an increased level of finesse and elegant complexity, typical of a cooler vintage.
“It's exciting to see how these wines have evolved over time, and on behalf of our family, I’m extremely proud to release these wines to the world.”
Achieving the 'World's Best' - The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
The fifth release of Taylors The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 honours Bill Taylor Snr. and his founding ambition to craft a world-class wine inspired by the great wines of the Old World, using the exceptional fruit of
the Clare Valley.
“My grandfather had a vision to craft a great wine that could rival the famous wines of Bordeaux. To achieve this goal, he knew he would need the perfect plot of land with the ideal climate. When he landed in the Clare Valley, he quickly discovered its potential to grow exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon,” Taylor said.
This vision is what guides the Taylor family today and is a key driver in the craft behind The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2018, that vision became reality as 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 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
Taylors 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 Taylors 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 Taylors seahorse crest, completing the timeless design.