Our famous “Red Hot Reds”
Tue, 13 May 2014
In a couple of weeks, we’ll be releasing the next vintage of Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – the 2013. The wine has developed a ‘cult following’ since the first vintage release – the ’73. Back then, the Taylor family were convinced the terroir of our Clare Valley estate could produce red wines of a pedigree to match those from the ‘old-world’ vineyards of Europe. Taylors also released a Shiraz in 1973 but it was known as ‘Hermitage’ back then. Whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon is the great love for Bill Taylor, Shiraz is a quintessential Aussie wine and a firm favourite of the general populous. When Taylors decided to also plant some Merlot in 1995, the trinity was complete. Over the last 45 years, Taylors has really become synonymous with quality red wines which is probably why our special cellar door Red Hot Red pack is such a popular item.
The pack contains a bottle each of the Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the Shiraz and the Merlot and is a fine way to compare and contrast the individual natures of these three noble varieties. The pack was created to celebrate the launch of the first vintage release of Taylors Estate Merlot – the ’98. It caused quite a sensation and our phone rang hot with retailers calling to order the new packs. It was kind of fitting that the Red Hot Red pack was first available in the year 2000; it was a new millennium and it also marked a real shift in the winemaking approach for these red wine favourites. At that time, a new winemaker had joined the ranks, one Adam Eggins, who brought with him a new philosophy borne out of many years’ experience in crafting champagne and sparkling wine; ‘respect the fruit’. It was an ‘old world’ philosophy that valued keeping the fruit in as pristine condition as possible, handling the fruit gently to minimise maceration and contact with unwanted phenolic characters – particularly those from stalk tannins. The first thing he did was to order the removal of all crushers from the winery. Taylors would only de-stem, there was to be no more crushing of grapes! The idea was to try to get as many whole berries into the fermenters as possible, thereby avoiding the juice coming into contact with these unwanted phenolic or bitter tannins. The effect of this major operational grape processing change was noticed almost immediately by the wine judges and the gold medals and trophies started rolling in. The Taylor family, spurred on by positive international success, funded a winery expansion project in 2007 and the new facility was processing grapes in 2010 with every facet engineered to protect and preserve the quality of the grape. The result of this innovation has been the ability of our winemaking team to craft world-class wines that have continued to enjoy much international acclaim.
At the time of writing, the wines contained within the Red Hot Red pack; The Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the Shiraz and the Merlot have amassed a collective total of 118 gold medals, 15 trophies, 3 platinum medals, and 975 other awards, including Category Champion, Judge’s Choice, and Outstanding Value awards. These wonderful endorsements demonstrate the success of this simple but unerring commitment to the ‘respect the fruit’ philosophy and to crafting outstanding wines of the highest possible quality and style; all for our pleasure and enjoyment…..how wonderful!