THE PIONEER SHIRAZ
In 1969, after a considerable search, the Taylors family found a promising 178-hectare site by the Wakefield River in the Clare Valley. They were certain the soil – red brown loam over limestone (now called terra rossa) – would prove conducive to crafting wines of the highest quality. The contrast of warm days and cool nights in the Clare would be equally beneficial – helping the grapes ripen in the day, and allowing the vines to rest at night.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
Fruit from each of these exceptional vineyard blocks was carefully harvested at the point of optimal flavor and structural development between the last week of February and first week of March 2012. During this time, a series of exceptional vineyard blocks were earmarked by Adam Eggins and the Wakefield viticultural team for their clear promise of delivering truly exceptional fruit of the highest quality. The selected vineyard blocks in 2012 cover a range of micro-climates and elevations within the St Andrews vineyard, the Auburn estate and southern Clare Valley.WINEMAKING
Each parcel was de-stemmed and cold soaked for a period of four days. A portion of each parcel was then transferred to new headless American oak barrels and the balance to small static fermenters. Each parcel was fermented at 22°C to 28°C over a period of seven to ten days using RX60 yeast to add complexity and retain aromatics. After a period of extended skins contact the wines were then pressed and underwent malolactic fermentation. Between April and September 2012 each of the parcels were matured in a selection of 2012 first use AP John and Vicard fine grain American oak barrels and the balance in a selection of one, two and three year old fine grain American oak barrels. After six months, the wine from each parcel was individually racked before being returned to barrel for a further ten months. Prior to bottling, a painstaking barrel selection was undertaken for each of the individual components.TASTING NOTES
A vibrant, mid-dense purple crimson with a deep, black cherry-skin core. This wine is generous and rounded at first with juicy, deep berry compote fruits then yielding to a tightly woven frame of firm yet generous tannins. There are alluring, coconutty 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 deliver a lingering finish.