Each vintage brings with it a unique set of characteristics that change the nature of the wine – and that's the beauty of wine. Our vintage reports will give you a unique insight into how that glass of Wakefield wine you're enjoying came to fruition.
In the growing season leading up to vintage 2016, rainfall was below average and whilst we saw only around 76% of the long term average fall, it was not the amount that had the biggest impact however; it was the timing of the rainfall. Mother Nature saw fit to dole out just the right amount of water at just the right time for maximum positive impact on the vine’s health and importantly, the quality of the fruit produced. In fact, this was just one of the factors at play when it comes to vintage 2016 being lauded as one of the great vintages. Of the whites, both the Chardonnay and Riesling varieties look particularly outstanding but with general reports of amazing flavour and acid structure being applied across all varieties. Of the reds, the reports were also great overall but the standout was Cabernet Sauvignon, which benefited from the excellent ripening conditions and reports of extraordinary fruit flavour concentration in this variety.
In the lead up to vintage 2015, the first two months of winter saw slightly higher than average amounts of rainfall and temperatures in line with the long term averages, although minimum temperatures were marginally higher. August then had very little rainfall and it ended up being the driest ever August recorded at the estate. Unfortunately these conditions were conducive to frost and there were 14 events recorded overall. Budburst progressed in the last week of August which is relatively normal. Spring weather was warm, dry and windy. These conditions had a detrimental impact on flowering and consequentially, yield. December and January were relatively mild, with good rainfall in January which was a welcome relief and did not negatively impact on the developing fruit. The winemakers reported that the Chardonnay and Riesling look particularly stunning. Of the reds, the reports were good overall but the standout was Shiraz.
The growing season in the lead up to vintage 2014 saw average autumn and winter rainfalls on the Taylor family Clare Valley estate vineyards; only 4% above the long term averages. During winter, the average daily minimum temperature at the Estate was 2°C warmer than average, although the average daily maximum temperature was in line with long term averages, resulting in the first budburst occurring at the normal time of late August. From the outset, it was a vintage that felt more controlled as environmental factors played less of a role in determining when fruit was to be picked which is always the winemakers’ preference. Once the fruit started coming into the winery, early indications in terms of natural acidity and flavour profiles in the whites and colour and tannin analysis in the reds were positive indeed. All in all, the winery team are pleased with the results of their efforts and look forward to releasing another collection of fine wines for everyone to enjoy.
The growing season in the lead up to vintage 2013 saw below average autumn and winter rainfalls on the Taylor family Clare Valley estate vineyards. In fact, over the entire season from September 2012 to April 2013 the rainfall was the lowest on record at the Estate since 1973 at only 138mm. This is 40mm below the previously driest season of 2003/04 and 50% below average. In addition, during winter, the average daily minimum temperature at the Estate was 1.1°C warmer than average, although budburst did occur at the normal time in early September. The dry and somewhat difficult conditions, resulting in lower yields from the season mean that the wines produced are quite full-bodied. Overall, after the great years of 2009, 2010 & 2012, the 2013 vintage will deliver very rich, concentrated wines which will be true to the Wakefield style of early approach-ability and generous enjoyment.
The 2012 vintage at the Taylor family estate in the Clare Valley was truly a special one as it was our 40th! Vintage officially commenced on the 225th January with the harvesting of Pinot Noir for sparkling wine base. The next week, we picked some Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay. By the end of February, we had harvested all the white varieties from the estate. The fruit looked excellent; clean and fresh with good varietal expression. If we have anything to complain about it would be that yields were slightly down on our predictions. By March we were full steam ahead and well and truly into the thick of things. No matter how many you do, it’s always a very exciting time! With the last of the fruit picked just after Easter, the harvest had officially ended with many excited reports from both vineyard and winemaking about the quality of the fruit from this year.
The growing season leading up to vintage in the Clare Valley commenced with above average winter/spring rainfall which filled profiles in the soil to saturation points not seen in the past three seasons. During flowering in November an unprecedented heat wave occurred; the Clare Valley experienced 13 consecutive days above 30°C. This heat-wave coincided with the peak of vine flowering, which resulted in reduced yields across almost all varieties at harvest. The stand-out wines from this vintage are sure to be Riesling – which is displaying pure focused fruit and a linear acid line and Shiraz which is expressive of the region.
Vintage 2011 will surely go down in the history books as one to remember! With rain being the main issue (and the associated diseases that occur in those humid conditions) and the corresponding protracted ripening period, this was certainly a vintage that separated the pack. However, despite any pessimism surrounding this vintage, we are very happy with the overall quality of our wines. Of our white wines, both the Riesling and Pinot Gris look particularly outstanding, whilst out of the red varieties, the Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon look particularly promising.