In 1969, after a considerable search, the Taylor family found a promising 178-hectare site by the Wakefield River in the Clare Valley. They were certain the soil – Terra Rossa (red loam over limestone) – would prove conducive to crafting wines of the highest quality. The contrast of warm days and cool nights in the Clare Valley would be equally beneficial – helping the grapes ripen in the day and allowing the vines to rest at night.
Wakefield’s goal is to be Australia’s top wine company, applying best practice principles in environmental management to enhance sustainable business activities and products. Favoring use of the most innovative techniques available, the winery strives to improve energy efficiency, water conservation and packaging.
The Estate line are the first wines released by the Taylor family. When they established their winery in 1969, the wanted to establish an “old world” style winery in the Clare Valley, hence the name “Estate.” From their earliest vintages, they received enormous critical success and today, the Estate line represents the true “heart & soul” of Wakefield.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
In the Clare Valley, the growing season was characterized as warm and dry for the 2018 vintage, the only warmer year in recent times was 2016, which produced some excellent, award-winning wines. One of the great things about this vintage was the avoidance of any major heatwaves during the growing season, which can be very damaging. Overall, the quality of the wines from this vintage are excellent.WINEMAKING
Estate fruit is sourced only for this wine. Once harvested, the fruit was quickly transferred to the winery and de-stemmed. Primary fermentation was carried out in stainless steel fermenters. Then the grapes were pressed using a pneumatic bag press with all pressings returned to add weight and texture to the wine. The wine was then transferred to American oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured in American oak for 12 months followed by fining, minimal filtration and bottling.TASTING NOTES
At release the wine is a dark red color with ruby red hues. The wine has an enticing, lifted aroma of plum, blackcurrant and dark cherry fruits along with a bouquet of subtle mocha and a touch of oak derived spice. The palate is plump and generous with ripe fruit characters of plum and blackberry. Mocha coffee and subtle spice from oak maturation balance the fruit flavors. The wine is medium to full bodied with a fleshy mid-palate and supple tannin structure. It is a well-balanced wine with great texture, good length and enjoyable fruit on the finish.