Wakefield (Taylor’s)* is a family owned and operated winery that has been in operation for three generations. It was founded over 45 years ago by Bill Taylor, a Clare Valley wine merchant, and he is still actively involved in its management. Wakefield owns some 178 ha in Claire Valley and today is one of Australia’s largest winery. Its operations are governed by a philosophy of making high quality Old World estate wines using New World winemaking innovation.
Wakefield has been in the U.S. market for almost 10 years and exports four different labels: Promised Land, an entry level series, Wakefield Estate, wines sourced from Wakefield’s own Terra Rossa estate, St. Andrews, top-of-the line-single vineyard wines, and Jaraman, wines sourced from different growing regions such as Clare Valley and Margaret River. We tasted some of these wines several years ago at a wonderful wine dinner in Washington, DC, and again in 2013. Our assessment over the years has been highly positive. These are well made wines, rich in fruit, nicely balanced and easy drinking; they are also well-priced. The winemaking at Wakefield is directed by Mitchell Taylor. (* Taylors Wines are known as Wakefield Wines in the northern hemisphere due to trademark restrictions.)
Wakefield 2014 Estate Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills ($17) 87 The Estate Pinot Noir offers aromas of fresh black cherry and plum. It is light on the palate with moderate fruit flavors and high acidity, followed by a dry finish. Wakefield 2014 Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley ($13) 88+ This Cabernet Sauvignon displays aromas of red and black currant, plum and graphite. On the palate it reveals ripe dark fruit flavors with good concentration and a medium finish. A good everyday drinking wine. Wakefield 2014 Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet South Australia ($13) 89 The Shiraz Cabernet blend offers ripe concentrated red and black fruit flavors on the palate with good acidity and balance. The tannins are round and ripe, although the finish is rather dry. Lively and friendly for every day drinking. Wakefield 2014 St Andrews Riesling Clare Valley ($40) 88 A pleasant dry Riesling, round in the mouth with a honeyed palate. Flavors of orchard fruit, lemon and lime, soft and lush with good balance and acidity and a pleasant dry tart finish. Wakefield 2014 Taylors Jaraman Chardonnay Clare Valley 89 The Taylors Jaraman Chardonnay is fruit forward and fragrant offering aromas and flavors of green apple, peach and pear. It is dry and crisp without a lot of oak, making for a vibrant, flavorful and fresh wine to enjoy over the next 3 to five years. Wakefield Taylors 2012 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley and Coonawarra ($30) 91 The Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon boasts very ripe and lush black fruit with cassis and a hint of earth/loam. Round and full in the mouth it has good concentrated flavors, firm round tannins and a persistent finish. Look for chocolate and licorice, dark cherry and blue berry Drink from 2016-2026 Wakefield 2012 St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley ($60) 92 The St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine of black currant with hints of graphite, cassis and vanilla on the nose. It is nicely focused and has good concentrated flavors on the palate. While not as big as the Jaraman it is better focused with good crisp acidity and firm tannins. Drink from 2017-2027