An Australian wine three generations in the making: Taylors unveils The Legacy 2014

Family-owned winery Taylors Wines has released a new wine in honour of the 50th year since the founding of the winery in 1969.

The Legacy 2014 celebrates the founding purpose of the South Australian wine producer to craft a new world wine that would stand tall against those of old world Bordeaux, namely Mouton Rothschild.

Taking inspiration from these wines, The Legacy is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small parcels of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

The momentous release marks the anniversary of the year Bill Taylor Snr. and his sons first established their winery on the banks of the Wakefield River in the Clare Valley region. Once a family of Sydney publicans, they entered the wine industry to realise their passion for crafting fine wines.

Third-generation managing director and winemaker Mitchell Taylor believes The Legacy embodies his grandfather’s vision for founding the winery.

“This is a wine three generations in the making. The Legacy is a testament to my grandfather and father’s work in establishing the Taylor name across the wine industry,” Mitchell said.

“Each generation has brought something special to Taylors Wines. From my grandfather who started the winery with a focus on premium Cabernet and Shiraz table wines – winning a gold medal at each national wine show – to my father who saw the winery through changing tastes and expansion for our production into white wines.

“While The Legacy celebrates our family’s journey, it is also a benchmark for future generations of Taylors to come. It is a great privilege to be releasing this wine as part of our 50th anniversary.”

Every detail has been considered in the crafting of this wine, which began as part of Taylors’ fine wine journey starting with the St Andrews range nearly two decades ago.

The Cabernet fruit used in a majority of the blend was sourced from a series of vineyard blocks on the Taylors estate, including A70 and E20 from the St Andrews vineyard, along with W10 – a thirty-year-old vineyard located on the Wakefield river flats. Merlot from the Taylors vineyard was also used to complete the blend, along with a small parcel of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, selected from a long term grower partner in the Coonawarra, bringing aromatic lift to the finished wine.

A crucial component for this wine was the selection and integration of oak, according to chief winemaker Adam Eggins.

“The art of open barrel fermentation is a practice we have been perfecting at our winery for more than a decade,” said Eggins.

“Post fermentation, the Cabernet fruit is transferred to a selection of fine grained, high quality French oak for a period of eight weeks, with skins intact. The process of extended skin contact in barrel gently softens the tannin profile and creates a sublime texture to the wine.”

An integral part of The Legacy lies in the specific barrels used for long term aging. Vicard, a sixth generation cooperage in France, supplied a selection of its fine-grained, lightly-toasted barrels specifically for this wine, the staves of which were seasoned for 48 months prior to assembling.

Due to the oaks’ extremely tight grain, the wine enjoyed 36 months maturation in a cool, temperature controlled cellar allowing the oak to impart powerfully savoury characters and textural richness. The complete wine is a polished wonder, according to Eggins.

“The aim was to find true completeness in a wine. Having a glass of The Legacy – you almost fall into it. It has a huge presence, but is still delicate. It’s a wonderful experience,” Eggins said.

In true celebratory fashion for the family’s golden anniversary, The Legacy’s packaging is a tribute to the winemaking team and the Taylors Wines family. The wine is housed within a bespoke case, with The Legacy name emblazoned in silver. Housed within the case is a detailed booklet containing a certificate of authenticity, a detailed history of Taylors Wines, and a family tree of the Taylors past and present.

Innovation continues within, as a three-pronged sculpture encases the wine, each pillar signed by a representative of each generation. The wine is bottled in a tapered glass bottle, and as a statement to Taylors’ pioneering heritage, is enclosed with the screw cap.

Taylors’ three seahorse emblem shines prominently as the focus on the front label with a handcrafted, silver medallion coated in rhodium, one of the rarest precious metals in the world. The treatment and finish of the icon ensures it will never tarnish.

Authenticity is taken to new heights as Taylors unveils a world-first, protective bottle overcap and security chip. The security chip, one of the first of its kind, enables purchasers of The Legacy to access information about the wine through their smart phone using near-field communication. Through a dedicated app, purchasers can also access important security details, confirming that the wine is authentic and unopened.

“We’ve taken our efforts in packaging to new levels with The Legacy. We’ve blurred the boundaries of wine and art to bring something truly special to celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said Mitchell Taylor.

“Innovation is core to our business, and with the advancements in packaging technology, we’ve considered all the elements that will make this wine, and how its cared for, a world-class wine.”

Only 1,080 individual bottles have been created of The Legacy 2014. This rare wine will be available in select markets starting 1 May from select fine wine retailers and Taylors Cellar Door for $1,000 RRP.