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Taylors’ art a masterstroke in winemaking

“Winemaking is an art,” said Mitchell Taylor at the launch of his family’s Masterstroke Collection in Sydney last week. He describes the latest release from the Clare Valley family of winemakers as “an exploration in winemaking, bringing science and experimentation together on a journey of the great winemaking regions of South Australia”.

The trio of wines – Masterstroke Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Masterstroke McLaren Vale Shiraz 2019 and Masterstroke Clare Valley Cabernet Shiraz 2016 – champion the terroir of three diverse South Australian Wine regions: the Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley.

As well as sampling the Masterstroke Collection, guests were also treated to wines from Taylors’ Jaraman label on the evening along with the exceptional Taylors The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Evidence, said Taylor, that we “create wine on parallel with the great wines of the world”. Something that his grandfather Bill Taylor Snr foresaw this when he established the family’s winery in the Clare Valley in 1969, said Taylor.

The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 was awarded World’s Best Cabernet at the Concours International des Cabernets (International Competition of Cabernets) in 2018.

Taylors’ Jaraman label was developed twenty years ago with the intent of exploring winemaking possibilities in regions further afield than the Taylors’ home soil in the Clare. Since then, Taylors Wines has worked methodically and determinedly to establish commercial partnerships with “the best growers and a shared philosophy” to make beautiful wines.

The artistry of the winemaking becomes increasingly apparent listening to Taylor describe the process. He describes the family business’ partnerships in McLaren Vale as being with the “best growers in the best country on the sea view ridge”. Here the sea breeze ripens the grapes gradually and the first high quality red grapes come in earlier than they do in the Clare, allowing for an extended time to soak the grapes, commence fermentation and have the wine on skins.

The Jaraman Shiraz blends fruit from the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale while the Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignons blend grapes from the Coonawarra and Clare Valley.

“While our home is in the Clare Valley, we have a long history of working with our grower partners to source outstanding Cabernet fruit in the Coonawarra and Shiraz from McLaren Vale – both hero varieties of their respective regions. While each wine is a distinct reflection of their regional terroir, they still display the powerful elegance that’s expected of a Taylors wine,” said Taylor.

The Coonawarra region, located 650 km south of Adelaide, sits right on sea level. In its good years, Taylor told us, “you’ll taste eucalyptus, mint and cassis characteristics” as we sampled vintages from 2015, 2016 and 2019. “It has a longer length to the palette than the Shiraz which is fleshy and up front,” he explained.

The Masterstroke Cabernet Shiraz is very special and shows great promise. A perfectly balanced blend that “hails from what is regarded as one of the great vintages, 2016”, it “celebrates a classic Australian wine style that is rewarding in its youth as well as after many years of careful cellaring”. Taylor calls it a “wine of structure and of synergy” and a “very exciting venture”. It is a stunner.

Each of the bottles from the Masterstroke Collection features photography by South Australian landscape photographer, Benjamin Goode, reaffirming Taylors Wines love of creativity and the arts. All photos were on show on the evening at The Gallery on Castlereagh Street along with a dynamic landscape painting by Sydney based artist, Myles Young, destined to be hung back home in the Clare Valley.

Taylors Masterstroke Collection (RRP $60) is now available at select fine wine retailers, Taylors Wines’ Clare Valley Cellar Door and online at www.taylorswines.com.au.