Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2018 edition panel review of Australian Shiraz (see blue link below).
Wakefield St Andrews Shiraz 2014 - July 2018 Decanter review
When Bill Taylor Snr and his sons acquired a promising block of land in the Clare Valley in 1969, they did so with the singular hope of creating a wine of the finest quality. Not only did they achieve this dream, they founded a winemaking philosophy that continues to resonate through the wines today. "We understand the importance of protecting, preserving and enhancing the quality of the fruit from our vineyards. Our aim is to achieve balance, elegance and finesse in every wine and somewhat uniquely when it comes to the style of our wines, we often seek to make wines that are at once both powerful and elegant."
All artists have a signature. A mark that signifies everything they stand for in a few elegant strokes. For Wakefield, St Andrews is that signature. Every bottle is a testament to their winemaking philosophy and a showcase for their hand-crafted approach to winemaking. The first Wakefield St. Andrews wines were released in 1999 and have developed a reputation as benchmark examples of great Clare Valley wine. St Andrews is only ever released in the finest vintages.
Once harvested, the grapes for this wine were taken the short distance to the winery where they were gently de-stemmed to protect the vibrant fruit characters and minimise any maceration and extraction of harsh tannins. The fruit was then transferred to headless barrels and inoculated with a specialist Shiraz yeast strain for fermentation. The fermenting must was hand-plunged twice daily to aid gentle extraction and then the wine was left to soak on skins for a further 2 weeks. Once pressed, the wine was then transferred back to the same oak barrels to complete its secondary malolactic fermentation. After completing malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked off lees prior to final blending. The blended wine was then transferred to high quality water-bent American oak barrels and matured for 18 months prior to filtering and bottling in June 2016.
The wine has complex and enticing bouquet of dark berry fruit along with juicy black plum, spice, cedar and hints of liquorice, chocolate and roasted coffee. . On the palate, the wine is rich and complex with layers of flavour. Dark berry fruits combine with lashings of coffee,chocolate and spice from high quality oak. The fruit and oak weight create a multidimensional palate which is defined with well-balanced,elegant tannins. This is a very generous wine with textural complexity and long, persistent flavours.