The Taylors Winemaker Project
Mon, 28 July 2014
It’s true that our winemakers here at Taylors work hard each season to create memorable wines. And we do our best to provide them with the best fruit, resources and working environment to enable them to bring to life our award-winning range. But we also know that there’s another, more subtle input that’s tied into our winemaking success – creative flair.
To nourish the artisan hearts of our winemakers, we’ve developed the Taylors Winemaker’s Project (TWP). The project allows our people to work with some of the newest trends in wine craft, and produce wine that is exciting, but that might not necessarily fit our existing range. These offerings find a home in our niche TWP range.
Our winemakers are always taking care to research the latest techniques in vinification, plus the most current advances in varietal development and usage. So, through TWP they get to tap in to the possibilities for lesser known varieties, plus experiment with various innovative techniques that have captured their imaginations. It’s our way of giving them room to run with their exciting, cutting-edge ideas – while at the same time providing our loyal followers with the very best in creative wine experiences.
Our artisans at work
The project unfolds exclusively here at our Clare Valley winery where a small selection of the best fruit is identified for involvement in a TWP creation. Our winemakers will have keenly watched the season and kept tabs on the performance of both regular and unusual grape varieties. They’ll have been obsessively interested in growth conditions across both central Clare Valley and surrounding sub-regions. And long before harvest, they’re concocting theoretical combinations in their minds, eagerly anticipating the emerging possibilities. When the time is right, a small amount of the best grapes from low-cropping vines are earmarked for an exclusive journey through the creative TWP world.
And we’re pretty proud of our teamwork in terms of creative flow from this point. The TWP opportunity sure opens up diverse and sometimes competing views on what can best be created for the bottle. But here at Taylors we’re happy to (gently!) thrash out our wilder ideas together, until a plan is in place for a new and unique TWP offering.
Expect the unexpected
Part of the appeal of the project to our winemakers is that they get to use unusual varietals, plus mix and match more regular ones in surprising and unexpected ways.
A classic example is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc (known as the CMMC).
Having sourced a little of the best of the estate low-yielding crops, the twist of Cabernet Franc was then added to this exclusive mix. Initially fermented at quite low temperatures, the CMMC was then carefully subjected to a second malo-lactic fermentation in our premium French oak barrels.
And just wait till you taste the results. The deep aromatics and fine, long tannins in the glass draw together CMMC’s quite extraordinary rich berry flavours and gentle herbal notes. You’ll be forgiven for drifting out of any conversation with this wine in your glass!
And that’s what TWP is really all about. Our winemakers are simply dying to take you on an exciting wine adventure, part of which they’ve already begun during the exacting vinification processes. They not only choose fantastic, diverse fruit, but they also experiment with extremely cool and unusual ways to bring each unique batch to bottling. You might think it’s a little coy of us not to deliver a package of neat, comprehensive information about TWP methods. But there is no one method, and that’s really the point. Each carefully selected batch of source material speaks to our gifted winemakers in different ways, on every separate TWP adventure.
While TWP is certainly a recognisable wine range, there’s an unusual beauty in knowing that each TWP offering is a bespoke and singularly charismatic creation. It might be around for one vintage only or sneak back into the range for a season or two like the CMMC, which is about to be released for a second time, or the Vermentino, which is also in its second vintage.
Like our winemakers, there’s a bit of mystery and a touch of the unknowable across our Taylors Winemaker’s Project creations. What is concrete is that each bottle carries within it the best fruit and the best wine-craft available – plus a little ‘something special’ that’s hard to put your finger on, and we’re fairly sure comes from the freedom to roam freely with fresh ideas.
Giving them wings
We mentioned at the beginning that at Taylors, we feel it’s so important to give our most creative brains the room that they need to mix up a little wine alchemy. That’s why we brought to the TWP to life. But it’s not just our winemakers who are given wings to fly. The TWP wines give our followers a chance to also cut loose and have a slightly edgier wine moment or two. To maybe consider a little Vermentino with the veal, or perhaps a dash of Mataro in the mix…or even try a saucy blend of four fabulous red varietals all in one cheeky quartet.
Having access to some unusual varietals gives enjoyers of wine the chance to live a little, and to break any old habits related to what goes into the glass. You really never know what you might discover. The TWP is all about taking risks and remembering the magic that really is at the heart of wine appreciation.
And we think you’ll fall in love with the special, one-off creations that our winemakers create through their limited edition TWP endeavours.