Wakefield produces some exciting wines from Clare Valley, South Australia, ranging the spectrum from approachable, relatively inexpensive bottles to, well, these big boys.
The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon come from the Wakefield team’s best vineyard blocks in the Clare Valley. These are bold, concentrated wines that spend time in American oak, but the purity of fruit, complexity of flavors and aging potential make these wines very impressive. They’re special wines for sure — as they should be, considering the suggested retail price is $200.
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.
Review: 2012 Wakefield Shiraz The Pioneer - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
Rich purple color. Complex nose that needs time to open up and show it’s full bounty, but I start getting black cherry, blueberry and black currant mixed in with notes of bacon fat, black pepper, mushroom, notes of roasted coffee, eucalyptus and anise. Full-bodied, firm tannins but they’re smoothed out around the edges, and an impressive amount of acid holds the wine together. Black cherry, blueberry and dark currant fruit, tart and crunchy but full of sweet flavors. A complex web of black pepper, soy sauce, cedar, eucalyptus and mint makes this a delight to sip and ponder. Long finish with deep notes of asphalt and minerals. Rich and mouth-filling but so elegant. Really bold and worthy of cellar development, but impressive in its accessibility and vibrancy at this young point. (93 points IJB)
Review: 2012 Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon The Visionary - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
Medium purple color. Aromatically slugging, with deep red and black currants and tart plums, but with air more reserved and elegant notes come out, tobacco, eucalyptus, mint, sweet violets, pickle, white pepper. Seriously complex sniffing. On the palate, this shows a firm tannic structure, some medium acid. Tart black currants and dark plums, the fruit has crunchy skins but lots of ooze on the inside. Complex secondary notes of tar, charcoal, wet forest, mint, white pepper, clove, roasted chestnut and dark roast coffee. Crazy complex but the elements unravel beautifully on the palate. The oak signature is written in thick pen, but it has enough other elements going for it. A burly wine that will improve for ten years and hold for longer, but it’s quite a thing to taste the power right now. (93 points IJB)