Taylors Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Clare Valley, SA)
14%, Screwcap, $130
Mitchell Taylor, Taylors Wines patriarch, believes this Visionary is the best wine his family business has ever made.
I’d be inclined to agree.
Sure, it is priced to match, but no questioning the quality hallmarks.
Unsurprisingly, the fruit for this was marked as special from the start, with several plots on the St Andrews vineyard (not far from the winery) and the Wakefield block near Auburn earmarked for greatness quite early in the vintage.
Interestingly, while the fruit is special, the winemaking is otherwise unremarkable, save for a parcel from the A10 block, which spent a month on skins.
What makes this Cabernet convincing, however, is its old school Clare Valley character. There’s an uncompromising, hearty, mint-meets-tannin regionality to this that is admirable, particularly if you’ve drunk some old Leasingham Cabernets or attempted to love some old Wendouree Cab blends.
Still, such a wine ain’t easy or affable, the nose full, deep, minty (eucalpyt too), and unquestionably intense; the palate almost aggressively dry and firm. There is an agelessness to this though that belies a vintage that produced quite forward wines, the alcohol hidden behind extract and cedar and blackberry.
Ultimately I’d rather like to have this in my cellar. It’s not a perfect wine – indeed the acid is hard, the tannins hard, the mint inescapable. But you just know that this will be a blinder in 2030 and live until it is 50, no sweat. For that alone it deserves high marks.
Tasted: January 2014
Score: 18.5/20, 94/100+
Would I buy it? I’d like it in my cellar, that is for sure. Would I buy it though? Hmm.
Buy online: Wine Searcher, Jims Cellars, Taylors website