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Taylor-made wines from one of one of the industry’s first families

- Featured Image

Three generations of Taylors ensure that the wines produced from their magnificent Clare Valley vineyards are of the highest standard.

Bill Taylor and his two sons, Bill and John, were already firmly entrenched in the wine industry as merchants when their passion to create their own world-class Cabernets was realized with the purchase of 178 hectares of Terra Rossa soil on the Wakefield River in the Clare Valley in 1969. 

The first commercial vintage was in 1973, and two years later their Cabernet Sauvignon won a gold medal in every capital city wine show. The Taylors name became synonymous with quality, and an expansion in 1983 saw them purchase a further 113 hectares. Since then, growth has been rapid, including the addition of 32 hectares in 1989, 161 hectares in 1994 and, most significantly, the 250-odd hectares of the St Andrews vineyard.

Innovation always lays a fertile path for the future. In 2000, all the Riesling produced was sealed under Stelvin screw caps and in 2004 all wines were sealed this way. In 2009, Taylors produced the first 100 per cent carbon neutral wine under its Eighty Acres label.

Seven labels exist, each displaying different philosophies of production. The Promised Land range is meant to be fruit-dominated and ready to drink. Eighty Acres is named after the original farmed block and is 100 per cent carbon neutral. It has lively fruit with some elegant structure. The Taylors Estate range gets more serious expressions of terroir and quality fruit.

The Jarraman range purposively blends the best fruit of two regions. This gives a chance for the single varietal fruit characteristics to shine. The flagship label, only made in certain vintages, is the St Andrews range. These are the most elegant structured wines that give plenty of value for the dollar. The Visionary is named after Bill Taylor, and is an extremely rare Cabernet only produced in exceptional years.

The most fascinating range includes the TWP- Taylors Winemaking Project wines. This range is the result of tinkering with and testing small parcels of less common varieties. Current releases include a Grenache, a Shiraz Mataro and a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.

The Taylors are considered one of Australia’s first families of wine (there are altogether 13 families that share this honour), and they believe in the expression of terroir, quality and commitment to the wine industry. Exports have been successful, with the notable change in name to Wakefield Wines, because the name ‘Taylors’ is linked to a Portuguese wine company in international markets.

Wines Tasted

Taylors Estate Clare Valley Riesling 2013 – a light yellow colour, with sweet honeysuckle and lime florals on the nose. It has a medium weight anterior palate, with a moderate acid backbone. This is a great value example of Clare Valley Riesling and was enjoyed with some fresh Mooloolaba prawns and lime aioli. Cellar three to five years. 

Taylors St Andrews Clare Valley Chardonnay 2012 pale yellow colour, with a tinge of green. The nose is complex, with white peach, funky lees and yeast aromas. The palate is lush and broad in the anterior palate with nice acidity. Made in the new mould with hints of malolactic fermentation, but restrained fruit and oak balanced beautifully. Enjoyed with King Island Triple Cream Brie. Cellar five to seven years. 

Taylors WMP GSM Clare Valley Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2010 – a deep garnet colour, with a nose of red currants, rich candied fruits , tobacco leaf and herbal notes. There is generous fruit on the anterior palate with a mild tannin structure. Overall, a luscious wine that opened up over two hours. Enjoyed with some prosciutto and Jamon ham. Cellar six to seven years.

Taylors St Andrews Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – a deep red-brown brick colour, with a nose of rich, deep cassis and mocha notes, with a background of herbs. The palate is enriched with a full velvety flow of rich fruit flavours. There is very little mid-palate collapse, and the balanced tannins ensure lip-smacking satisfaction. The best value high end Cabernet that I know of. Enjoy with my old favorite – grilled “anything bleeding”. Cellar for eight to 10 years.

Image by Kevin Galens on Flickr used under creative commons.