Does anyone know what day it is? I know it’s Wednesday but have long since lost count of how many days we’ve been in lockdown now, probably due to the busyness of life. Writing, gardening, exercise and tasting wine have all kept my mind and body busy, including tasting these two newcomers from Taylors in Australia, which arrived in New Zealand this week.
These wines are part of Taylors Jaraman range, first released in 2003 with the aim of highlighting the strengths of he Clare Valley (home to Taylors Wines) and nearby wine regions. Both of these are blends of grapes grown in Clare and beyond, as the tasting notes reveal, below.
2017 Taylors Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon $33.99
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of grapes with 56% from the Clare Valley north of Adelaide and 44% from Coonawarra on the south coast of South Australia. It was aged for 10 to 12 months in 50% one year old and 50% two to three year old French oak, which flatters the classic, highly age worthy Cabernet Sauvignon grape. This wine is dry with rich, dark blackcurrant and blackberry flavours leading on the palate of this full bodied red with relatively high alcohol of 14.5% ABV.
The 2017 vintage began in late February following a growing season with above average winter rainfall in the Clare Valley where veraison was late due to cool wet conditions from October through to December. The Coonawarra grapes, in the meantime, also experienced a relatively cool growing season and above average winter rain leading into vintage. Despite these challenging growing conditions, this wine is elegant, smooth and savoury with promise of at least 10 years worth of aging ahead of it.
2018 Taylors Jaraman Shiraz $33.99
Shiraz with elegance made from 72% Clare Valley grapes and 28% McLaren Vale grapes, which comes from a relatively dry summer in both Clare Valley and in the McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. This 2018 vintage was a return to the drier conditions that winemakers in both regions expect (ie, drier than the previous relatively wet year of 2017). This wine was aged in a mix of American oak hogsheads, 30% one year old and 70% two to three year old barrels for 14 months before bottling.
It’s deep ruby in colour with ripe dark fruit flavours and a dry, full bodied style. It can be enjoyed now but will benefit from further aging for at least 7 to 8 years, and beyond. The alcohol is 14.5% ABV but this wine carries it well with its full body and ripe fruit flavours.