How can you visualize the taste of wine in a chart? How would those charts be different for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz? What makes the wines from Australia’s Clare Valley unique? What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will result in the wine? How does acidity improve your tasting experience? Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley of Australia’s Wakefield Wines.
You can find the wines we discussed here.
- What was it about Wakefield Wines 2011 vintage that brought Justin to tears?
- Which stunning Wakefield Wine was born from the 2011 disaster?
- How did Neil end up tasting Wakefield Wine with a buyer at a motorway stop?
- What gives the vineyard at Clare its x-factor?
- Why does the cool break at night improve the integrity of the grapes?
- How does the unique Clare Valley terroir show up when you’re tasting Wakefield Wines?
- What properties will you notice in Wakefield Wines as a result of their terroir?
- What inspired the creation of the Wakefield Wines flavour charts?
- How can you use the Wakefield charts when tasting Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz?
- What would you notice when tasting a warm-climate Chardonnay which has been oaked?
- Which French influences can you find in Wakefield Chardonnay?
- What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will you notice in wine made using this technique?
- What foods should you pair with Wakefield Chardonnay?
- Are there certain foods you should avoid pairing with Chardonnay?
- How does acidity improve your tasting experience?
- What distinguishing characteristics should you pick up in a high-quality dry Riesling?
- How does the maturation of a Riesling impact it’s tasting profile?
- What is meant by a “long finish”?
- How can you differentiate between a cool climate and a warm climate Shiraz?
- What tricky flavours can you pick up with Wakefield Shiraz?
- What makes Wakefield Shiraz feel more elegant and refined to you versus other Australian Shiraz?
- Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine?
- Can you zero in on the nuances of the different types of wine?
- What tasting experience can you expect with Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon?
- Where do the notes of mint in Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon come from?
- How does the ageing of Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon impact it’s tasting profile?
- What foods should you pair with Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon?
- Will the 2020 Australian wildfires have an impact on wine regions?
- How can you support Australian winemakers during this difficult period?
Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips
What we have is this elevation above sea level and I think it’s a real x-factor in Clare and what makes Clare special. - Justin Taylor Click to tweet
Our vineyard is about 350 – 400m above sea level and that makes all the difference because at that elevation when the sun goes down, the heat radiates straight into space. - Neil Hadley Click to tweet
In the Cabernet Sauvignon world, what makes the difference is this mid and back palette, which is the vinosity, the flavour that then comes through. - Neil Hadley Click to tweet
People say “Why is Chardonnay so popular?” and it’s because it’s lovely and soft at the front, it’s lovely and soft in the middle and it’s lovely and soft at the finish. - Neil Hadley Click to tweet
Chardonnay, wherever it’s grown in the world, tends to just come up to your palette, give it a great big bear hug and it sort of leaves you with a smile on your face. - Neil Hadley Click to tweet
Bâtonnage is the spent yeast cells. The lees sort of fall out of the wine but they have this fresh, bready taste… think freshly baked bread cooling on the window with butter melting in it. It’s beautiful. - Natalie MacLean Click to tweet
When pairing Chardonnay generally, my initial answer not to go for sushi, salmon or lightly cooked fish because the oils, particularly with salmon, fight with Chardonnay quite dramatically. - Neil Hadley Click to tweet
Chardonnay – if it’s well made – will work pretty much with most dishes. - Justin Taylor Click to tweet
I always find that acidity, especially in rich wine, is the balancing factor. - Natalie MacLean Click to tweet
Your wine journey is such a journey throughout your life. Every time you do another course or drink another wine or go to another wine dinner you just realize, “Oh God I’ve got so much to learn about this.” - Neil Hadley Click to tweet
About Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley
Justin was one of six kids growing up in the Taylor household in Sydney’s Rose Bay under the watchful eye of their mother Loretta and father Bill Taylor Jr. – one of the original founding family members of Wakefield Wines. A natural salesman, Justin is noted as the loudest and jovial one of the bunch. He graduated from the prestigious Cranbrook boy’s school in 1988 and loved spending weekends on the rugby field.
In 1997, the Taylor family welcomed third-generation family member Justin Taylor into the family business. Since then, Justin has been pivotal in introducing Wakefield Wines to wine drinkers all over the world. Justin started his professional career at Wakefield serving a three-year apprenticeship of types working as a sales representative in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. Justin has completed the Wine Society Advanced Wine Appreciation Certificate, Advanced Wine Marketing at TAFE and the Wine Executive Program through the Monash University of Melbourne.
In 2000, Justin was promoted to the role of National Sales Manager in Australia. Over the following eight years the company’s domestic market share doubled, as did the size of the domestic sales team and the portfolio of wines that were being offered to the public in Australia, as Justin said “it was definitely a very fun time to be part of the Wakefield Wines team, we worked very hard and achieved very satisfying results.” After a visit to Australia in the late 80s, he decided Sydney would become home and pursued numerous roles in sales and marketing with prestigious brands like Rosemount Estate, Penfolds and Villa Maria in New Zealand.
Today at Wakefield Wines, Neil manages the export portfolio of the 50-year wine company along with third-generation Export Manager and Company Director Justin Taylor. His main regions of responsibility include the United Kingdom and Europe, North America and South America. When not jet setting on behalf of Wakefield, Neil is an avid traveller himself. He cites trekking the foot of Mount Everest, dam-building for Masai tribes-people in Kenya and driving around Australia in a ‘Kingswood’ amongst his more memorable journeys around the world.
Neil Hadley MW joined Wakefield Wines as General Manager, Export in early 2007. With more than 30 years of industry trade experience, Neil is key to developing and executing international sales and marketing strategies around the world for Wakefield Wines. His career in fine wine began in the early 80s as a wine retailer in England. Determined to understand the wine shelves of Lay & Wheeler, Neil dove straight into WSET training, later moving on to become one of the youngest members initiated as a prestigious Master of Wine in 1993.
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Transcript & Takeaways
Welcome to episode 98!
How can you visualize the taste of wine in a chart? How would those charts be different for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz? What makes the wines from Australia’s Clare Valley unique? What is bâtonnage and what flavours and aromas will result in the wine? How does acidity improve your tasting experience? Why is balance one of the most critical aspects of a great wine?
That’s exactly what you’ll discover in this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast. I’m chatting with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley of Australia’s Wakefield Wines.
On a personal wine note, as Miles and I were driving down a back road in Prince Edward County on Wednesday, I asked him: “Didn’t we pass that barn before?”
Our GPS wasn’t working.
“Look at the colours on those trees,” Miles said happily.
As usual, he was in the moment; I was on the task.
Eventually, we found Rosehall Run winery and their heart-stopping pinot noir.
Back at the Drake Devonshire hotel for dinner, I joined Miles in the moment with a glass pinot
I hope you find a relaxing wine moment this week.
I’ll include links to the wines we tasted, a link to the video version of this chat so that you can see the charts we discuss, where you can find me on Facebook live every second Wednesday at 7 pm, and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class — that’s all in the show notes at nataliemaclean.com/98.
We’re just 2 episodes away from number 100. Who would you like me to interview on this show? It could be a celebrity who now has a wine label, a winemaker, a sommelier, a wine or food writer, or someone with a great wine story.
I’m going to give away 3 signed copies of my second book, Unquenchable, which Amazon named one of the best books of the year to 3 people who come up with the best ideas.
So please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag me on social media with any ideas you have to make it fun. And there will be wine.
Okay, on with the show!
You can also watch the video interview with Justin and Neil of Wakefield Wines that includes bonus content, photos of the Clare Valley vineyard, visuals of the charts discussed and behind-the-scenes questions and answers that weren’t included in this podcast.
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my chat with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley. Here are my take-aways:
- I found their charts for visualizing the taste of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Shiraz so helpful, especially when understanding abstract tasting concepts like a hole in the middle.
- The Clare Valley climate is so different from other Australian wine regions. Make it goal to seek out these wines and try them if you haven’t previously.
- Bâtonnage or stirring the lees adds a richness, depth and creaminess to wines I love.
- The discussion of the importance of acidity and balance in wine was intriguing, and it helped me understand why I love wins with both.
You won’t want to miss next week when I’ll be chatting with Dan Speck, one of three brothers who own and operate the Henry of Pelham winery in Niagara. We’ll chat about how family-run wineries are different from those owned by corporations, and how that affects almost every decision, from the way wine is made to how it’s marketed.
In the meantime, if you missed episode 11 with Forbes wine columnist Katie Bell, go back and take a listen. We chat about what makes a wine great and she has some terrific stories to share. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who’d be interested in the wine tips that Justin and Neil shared.
You’ll find links to the wines we tasted, a link to the video version of this chat so that you can see the charts we discuss, where you can find me on Facebook live every second Wednesday at 7 pm, and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class — that’s all in the show notes at nataliemaclean.com/98.
Thank-you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a wine for which you can visualize the taste because it’s so colourful!
Wakefield Wines 0:00
Bad Kevin I just has that talent, and it can be quite green and quite aggressive and what makes the difference is this mid and back powers which is the velocity, the flavour that then comes through quite rapidly. We’re talking about a split second between your brain noticing the tannins thinking it wants to object about the tannins, and then suddenly being flooded by this really generous, really plush expression of wine flavours, and suddenly your brain is overwhelmed by the pleasure of the flavour and forgets about the tannin altogether.
Natalie MacLean 0:36
Well, that sounds like birth almost but not quite.
Wakefield Wines 0:40
yet. Great cabin, I should do that. If it’s not very calculated, never will do that. So mean hard, nasty capitalised when they’re young will be mean hard nasty Kevin as
Natalie MacLean 0:52
well, like people too. Yeah.
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine? Do you love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places, and amusingly awkward social situations? Oh, that’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean. And each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 98. How can you visualise the taste of wine in a church? And how would those charts be different for say Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Shiraz? What makes wines from Australia’s Claire Valley unique? What is better knowledge and what flavours and aromas will you get in the wine as a result? How does acidity improve your taste experience and why is balance one of the most critical aspects of wine and that’s exactly what you’ll discover. In this episode of The unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m chatting with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley of Australia’s Wakefield wines. Now on a personal wine note as miles and I were driving down a back road in Prince Edward county this Wednesday I asked him Hey, didn’t we see that barn before our GPS was not working? Look at the colours on those trees mile said happily. As usual he was in the moment I was on the task. Eventually, we found rose Hall run winery and there heartstopping Pinot Noir. Back at the Drake devinci hotel that night for dinner. I finally joined miles in the moment with a class of Pino I hope you find that relaxing wine moment this week. So I’ll include links to the wines we taste in this episode. Also a link to the video version of this chat because you’ll want to see the charts we discuss where you can find me on Facebook Live video every second Wednesday at 7pm and how you can join me in a free online food and wine pairing class. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash 98 and we are just two episodes away from number 100. Who would you like me to interview on the show could be a celebrity who has a wine label a winemakers sommelier, a wine or food writer or someone with a great wine story? I’m going to give away three signed copies of my second book unquenchable, which Amazon named one of the best books of the year, two the three people who come up with the best ideas he might have other ways that we should celebrate this anniversary milestone together. So please email me at Natalie at Natalie MacLean comm or tag me on social media with any ideas you have to make it fun. Okay, on with the show.
I am joined by two gentlemen from the lovely Claire Valley in Australia, from Wakefield wine. So we have Justin Taylor, who was one of six kids growing up I understand in your household in Sydney, Justin, your father, Bill Taylor was one of the founding members original founding members of Wakefield wines. And I’m told at least by your own bio that you were the loudest and most jovial of the
Wakefield Wines 4:44
light. That’s a lovely introduction. All
Natalie MacLean 4:49
right, yeah, that’s right. He didn’t say a word after that was a good thing. You’re an expert sales Justin. So it sounds like you’re well equipped to handle that. And then we have Neal Hadley also works with Justin Taylor in export sales, and he started off his career in fine wine retail in England and was one of the youngest people ever to achieve the master of wine designation. So, Welcome to you both. I’m so delighted to be here with you. All right, let’s kick things off with a couple stories first, before we sort of dig into some of the trends and issues. Justin, let’s start with you a minute to tell us about your most memorable vintage ever. What happened and why it sticks in your memory even to this day?
Wakefield Wines 5:30
Yeah, look, the family’s story is a five decade old story 69 our first vines went in the ground. And I’ve been lucky I’ve had numerous jobs. Over the 2025 years I’ve been in the business and one of my most memorable vintages Actually, it’s a terrible story because the villages for us as a family are rebirth and regeneration. You know, it’s so exciting every year, what are the winds going to be like in a very genuinely is, you know, you don’t quite know what Mother Nature’s gonna give you a year or they were very consistent in clear. So it’s usually a very exciting time. But I remember I was in North America between 2008 and 2012. And a lot of time in Canada, was based in Atlanta, Georgia and getting northwind Iraq. Good. I was visiting Australia in 2011. And it was vintage time and my father said, Look, I really want you to go down to the vineyards. And I want you to see something up if you never see again. I was like, oh, what’s going on? And he said, we’ve had a very wet finish to vintage. And we don’t make four or five, but I made dessert wines. So we could have bought the family. And you may think some of the most beautiful local refers they refer to it turns or good but we’re not geared up for that. And
Natalie MacLean 6:46
sweet wines, right? The Noble. That’s actually a good thing. It’s not like when winemakers go bad. It’s actually right.
Wakefield Wines 6:53
It’s a great if you get up to do it. It’s exactly what you want. Right? We’re table wines. We’re not geared up to do it. Anyway, my father sort of insisted, I go down to the vineyards. And I did. And we got a little bit of white wine in that year. But all of our red wines had to be left on buy. Because the detritus fungus had gone into our vineyards. We weren’t prepared for it. We didn’t know what to do. So basically, we had to write off the 2011 vintage and always fruits like I remember, it was really emotional. I think men should cry a lot more than they do. I’m very proud of that. But I remember having, like Tz my eyes, always read one just and some of our rows are like a kilometre long. You know, it’s a big venue down there now, and we just had to leave it all on Vine and it was really emotional. It was super revolutional I’ll, I’ll certainly never forget the 2011 vintage I’d like to say the 49 vintages they decided that every fall of happiness, beautiful wines. But that one was never I’ll never forget that one.
Natalie MacLean 7:58
I’m just envisioning that kilometre of fruit that had to go I just pulled away lift.
Wakefield Wines 8:04
Yeah. Thank you funny you mentioned because I think we both went down there. You know, nasty we talk often I’m sure you tell people how smell is a trigger to memory of that vintage ship the smell of the detritus in the vineyard. I still remember that smell. It still triggers the recollection of that vignette is not the visual look of fruit. It’s the smell of it all go rotten.
Natalie MacLean 8:28
Yes, pungent. And I guess you couldn’t make a dessert wine from those grapes
Wakefield Wines 8:32
with it. So okay, so with the redox app is a silver lining. Algae General Manager production at that stage was an ex grandmother’s guy and he had great experience in making dessert wines. And we made a Riesling. And he was and I saw a bottle of it the other day study. So it was stunning. And it’s the acidity, the lively acidity, you know, recently. So yeah, out of a disaster, there was one little lovely moment and I got as much of that as I could get.
Natalie MacLean 9:05
That’s great. It’s kind of like the accidental creation of wine in the first place. It was, you know, people stumbled into it. But do you still make that dessert wine today,
Wakefield Wines 9:14
though, it was totally a one off because again, it’s one big vignette. So like our really good friends at Barclays, who, you know, posters, first families, they do their beautiful novel one. Yeah, but I do it in a separate video. totally separate video. To all the table wines rose, we got one big vineyard asset in the Claire Valley. So I think it’d be a bit tricky to try to
Natalie MacLean 9:39
keep it separate because it can spread easily the noble rot. Wow, well, that’s very touching and very visual. Justin. Neil, you also have a story about an interesting place, the most interesting place perhaps where you’ve tasted wine.
Wakefield Wines 9:51
It’s fun. I mean, it’s fun to talk about actually given the we’re all in this strange lockdown situation where nobody’s going anywhere. Anyhow, back in the day when we could travel freely, I was in the UK, I was visiting the UK to do some sales and one of my key customers, I wanted to go and see and show them a particular shear as a rat and be sure as to what was the region in Devon, south of the states, and where the parcel of Shiraz that we wanted him to take. So I got to the UK and I sort of said to the guys who look after is there, you know, where’s Mike? And they said, Oh, look, he’s he’s left the country. He’s in Burgundy. And it’s like, Okay, well, we’ve kind of come a long way to do this. So I said, Okay, well, let’s not give up and I ended up flying to Paris. I then took the train down to bone, and intersected with our other guy who represents as in the UK, but they have a business in Burgundy as well. So we intercepted with them, and he had figured out that this guy, this buyer needed to get down to the airport in Lille, in order to get home at the end of his trip. And so it said, Oh, how about we just give you a lift, you know, get you down the motorway, get to the airport easily? And he said, Yeah, sure, that’d be great. Let’s do that. And so we got in the car, and we drove out of Burgundy, and we headed south. And when we got to the mcell, we pulled over and we said, Oh, we just want to pull over and take a stop here. We went to a little picnic. You know, in France, you have these lovely little picnic tables in motorway stops by the side of it come off until greens, a little picnic table vineyards and we pulled out the bottles of wine. We said let’s taste the wine.
Unknown Speaker 11:30
Wine in Burgundy, and
Wakefield Wines 11:33
they’re literally in this little picnic spot. And we say suffer these wines. And he said that’s fantastic. Oh, by the law.
Natalie MacLean 11:42
That’s good. That’s improvising. All right,
Wakefield Wines 11:44
who just want the best story award?
Grapes Rossington Eclair Valley, London Paris keep the burgers but I started with a ritual.
Natalie MacLean 11:57
It’s a toss because very moving, and lots of fun. So let’s dive into it. You know, I have some lovely, lovely pictures here of the Claire Valley. I want you to tell me a little bit about what we’re seeing here.
Wakefield Wines 12:12
The situation with us is actually one big fan yard. So 69 that I was started with about 250 acres and it’s now about 1000 acres, but it’s all all radiating from the winery. It’s all in one huge sort of bowl shaped vineyard and it means that we get as you’re showing the grapes that you’re being able to put up lots of different little microclimates within the sites that allow us to grow everything from Riesling and Chardonnay through to Shiraz and Cabernet. It’s a great facility. And because of those rolling hills, you get different angles and different exposures. So some vines are getting the morning sun, the reef things are getting that gentle morning, some others are as is oriented towards the afternoon sun, and you’re getting this fantastic ripening of this sort of tanning plushness that you’re looking forward through the exposure to greater sun strike. So it’s a great place and those vines just remind me it’s been far too long since we got to
Natalie MacLean 13:10
look at that. Now, you know, for those of us in North America who are not as familiar with Australia, that it’s not just one big Hot Country. The Claire is actually a cool climate when it comes to growing grapes. Why is that?
Wakefield Wines 13:26
Well, I answer that one but Claire’s really unique when the family were in hotels in the 40s 50s and 60s, and then one of the babies big decision to get into winemaking. So my parents and my uncle Nan went over to Bordeaux. And they looked at how the French vineyards basically went over two or three times in the late 60s, now looking at French vineyards and then they came back to Australia and when 63 were registered wineries in Australia were all around Australia. What they found in Claire was very unique terroir. So, Clay has the beautiful, rich red, Terra rasa soils
Natalie MacLean 14:02
and the sort of the soil and the climate, that combination of soil and climate.
Wakefield Wines 14:06
Absolutely you look it’s the French term. And it really is bringing it all together, all the elements that bring it together that make your region unique. So we’ve got these beautiful red terasa soils over limestone, then what we have is this elevation above sea level. And I think it’s a real X factor in clear and what makes Claire special in Australian Samoa and vintages on 40 degrees Celsius included day after day after that beautiful dry haze, but really pops. Then by eight o’clock at night, almost every single night, it’ll drop down to 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. So you’ve got this big diurnal shifts going on the big change. Yeah, big shift. I’m not trying to be too technical, but it’s really looking after the fruit on the vine. It’s looking out to the plant so the plant can then look after the fruit. And I think you know a lot of the wines and the ones we’re going to try with you wonderful stuff. Soft, elegant, integrated tannin structure, you know, just the the sorts of wines. My friends often say to me, Justin, look, I love your wines. But there’s one big problem. I met a glass and I drank a bottle, you know, and it’s the, it’s the soft tannin structure. So I, I’ve got a bat declared there. But for me, that’s one of the big factors that clear delivered. Oh, definitely. I mean, that, that lovely photograph, and you finished with that Natalie with the sky at night. That’s a real photo that’s not photoshopped. Oh, wow. That’s a long exposure that the guys took when they were doing a session that that open sky is exactly what’s going on at that time of year 2011. Vintage to one side. Genuinely, it’s dry and the skies are clear. So when the sun goes down, yes, you’ve had a lovely hot day, classic Australian warm to hot day. But as soon as the sun goes down, because we’re in elevation, all the heat was radiating radiates straight out of deep space, and the vineyard cools rapidly. And I’ve often said is it’s kind of similar to putting food in the fridge when if you want to preserve things you call them down
Natalie MacLean 16:07
at night. Yeah, to keep the freshness.
Wakefield Wines 16:09
Yeah. And in terms of living plants, when it goes dark, they stopped photosynthesizing, right. If they’re warm, they’ll keep breathing, they’ll keep respiring, which means they burn up the energies and sugars and structures in their fruits, right. Whereas they get cold, they just go into hibernation, and they go to sleep. And so the acids and the flavours and the colours, and molecularly speaking in those grapes, just go to sleep. And then in morning sun comes up
again, and you go again.
Right, then the fruit actually loses its integrity.
Natalie MacLean 16:45
Absolutely. The way I understand it is like when you’re working out, you’re lifting weights, or you’re on some sort of cardio, you’re expiring, you’re working hard, your heart rate is up. But if you just kept working out, you die, you need to. And that’s when the muscle is built, like you’re working so hard when you’re working out. But it’s actually in the resting phase that things come together. Because for the longest time I thought, Well, okay, so the plants go to sleep at night. But that just means they’re just stretching out unnecessarily this whole ripening business, but it does work, you know, it has to work in tandem. And that big shift between the warmth of the day and the coolness of the night is just what you need after you’ve been at the gym working out, and then you go home and you know, you’ve got the air conditioning on and
Wakefield Wines 17:29
you’ve got Yeah, that’s so true. And then obviously, the other thing that’s important to understand with Australia is it’s not usual to have that elevation, most of Australia is very, very old is incredibly old. In fact, most of the land is flat, somewhere around 50 metres above sea level. And what you’re looking at, when you look at that map of Australia, that whole plate is gradually drifting northward. So like it something ridiculous, about 11 centimetres a year or something like that continent is moving. And what’s happening with that force that’s coming from the south and pushing upwards is those these little buckles in the land, which is rippling upwards, so most of the land is flat and moving like that. But as you do if you push a carpet, you get those little ripples to come up trip points. In the case of carpets, one of those little trip points is the Claire Valley, and other one is the Adelaide Hills and the bourassa the ridges of the Hyatt are even better. This is where effectively the land is pushed up instead of pushing off. So there we are in Claire, our vineyards about 350 to 400 metres above sea level. And that makes all the difference because that elevation when the sun goes down, the heat radiates in
Natalie MacLean 18:47
Yeah, and also at that elevation Are you getting more sunlight versus heat? Like is it better for the ripening of the grapes if they’re higher altitude?
Unknown Speaker 18:59
No, you can say no.
Wakefield Wines 19:01
No, well I can trot off the top of my head it does get very hot in the daytime. And I’m 40 degrees on let’s say you get these heat waves so we do have prolonged 1014 day periods when we’ll go to that but right with 3035 which is good for writing if you get to the finals Yeah.
Natalie MacLean 19:20
I guess I’m thinking of in Argentina, for example, and they talk about the elevations getting more UV light like sunlight, not heat, sunlight that’s really good for the ripening up the grape skins, the females and everything else. All the goodness that’s in the skins.
Wakefield Wines 19:35
Yeah, so I’m thinking about those sort of mountain sort of sites like the high elevation, and there’s a particular character in some places that you can be, we don’t really see that I mean, we’re talking 350 metres above sea level is hardly the Himalayas so why don’t think you’re getting quite bad from a fruit ripening flavour sort of profile. I always seem to Claire specifically if we’re talking about cabinet I always think the cloud gives you more of us sort of Napa Valley style, Cassius expression. So I wouldn’t say there’s an elevation related flavour effect.
Natalie MacLean 20:11
Okay, good to know the difference. But Neil, you did come up with some interesting charts. You tell him what the idea was for those and then we’re going to actually show the charts. But how did you come up with this idea for flavour charts of different wines? Well,
Wakefield Wines 20:24
I’d love to say that is my idea. But it wasn’t. One of the winemakers I’ve worked with in the past was a fairly non verbal kind of communicate that he basically grown. There was a wonderful article written about him is a guy called Philip shore, who was with Rosemount wines. And it was a wonderful article written about him by a guy in England and Germany, in England, who’s read his article said, waiting for a thought to come out of Philip shores mind is like watching the holding pattern at Heathrow Airport, as these sort of ideas are in his head and gradually come down, you can imagine that could be quite challenging in terms of him not wanting to get into technical descriptions of wines. And I saw him working with his team in the winery years and years and years ago. And he wasn’t telling them anything. He was just drawing a little graph. And he’s saying it looks like this. And I want it to look like this. Give me some of think x, y, or was it and we’ll put some of this in there. And we’ll build this part of the palette profiler. And all they were doing was drawing the shape of what they were tasting the means of communicating without misunderstanding each other.
Unknown Speaker 21:33
Now that idea came
Wakefield Wines 21:34
from I thought, that’s really good, because anybody can get the graph. So yeah, that’s all we got to doing.
Natalie MacLean 21:41
So let’s start with Cabernet. Because that’s a really interesting concept. So you’ve got intensity going up and down.
Wakefield Wines 21:48
Yeah, this is great to see. Because on Monday night, I did this with a text or on a whiteboard, and it looked really terrible. So somebody has put a huge amount of work in my Doodle, in this case is something pretty great. Yeah, the one that people really sort of get really clear on is the risk and blessings, this cabling. So the idea is yes, the vertical axis is the amount of intensity and it can be as low as you like. So obviously, it’s a variable axis. But in the case of drawing it, you’ve got a low intensity, obviously towards the bottom of high intensity towards the top, and then from left to right, we’re thinking about how we perceive the wind in the front, middle back and finish off the pallets open the tasting experience. And so when you’re looking at Cabernet Sauvignon, the thing that hits you first is the tenant. The first thing you notice with Cabernet is this quite high impact. quite aggressive tannic expression.
Natalie MacLean 22:45
Yeah, littering, drying.
Wakefield Wines 22:47
And it’s also all the difference between good Cabernet and bad Cabernet because bad Cabernet just has that talent. And it can be quite green and quite aggressive and it doesn’t really have much going on behind it. So the only thing you notice but in quality in cabinets or in your world, what makes the difference is this mid and back pallets, which is the velocity of the flavour that then comes through quite rapidly. We’re talking about a split second between your brain noticing the tannins thinking it wants to object about the tannins, and then suddenly been flooded by this really generous, really plush expression of wine flavours. And suddenly your brain is overwhelmed by the pleasure of the flavour and forget about the tannin altogether.
Natalie MacLean 23:34
Well, almost but not quite.
Wakefield Wines 23:38
Yet great cabin, I should do that, wherever in the world it’s coming from and it’s a pretty damning reality that if it’s not very calculated, never will do that. So mean are nasty Cabernets when they young will be mean not hard, nasty Kevin as
Natalie MacLean 23:55
well like people to know for sure. So back to the childbirth analogy, it does work. Nasty, but they grow up and they mature. How about Sure. Now I’ve got four of these charts. So somebody was busy in your office. So talk to me about Chardonnay.
Wakefield Wines 24:13
So nice. I might have to get them to give me a leaf because they’re really
this is the edge rock of Australia and wine in terms of that palate profile. You know, people sort of say, Oh, you know, why is Chardonnay so popular? And it’s because it’s lovely and soft at the front. It’s lovely and soft in the middle. And it’s lovely in a soft finish. It’s like literally show me wherever it’s grown in the world tends to just come up to Allah give it a great big bear hug. And to leave you with a smile on your face. When you draw it in this fashion. It becomes clear why there is this natural appeal and what I did with the dotted line was trying to show if you’re in a cooler climate, you tend not to get that richness on the front, when you do tend to get that generosity and finish. And what I’ve also indicated is there is a bit of a hollow in the middle and to some extent, and of course, it’s the winemakers choice as to how much but it’s in that area that the role of oak becomes apparent, just shows that
Natalie MacLean 25:09
mid palate that mid tier,
Wakefield Wines 25:11
you can use the sleeves to give that creaminess in there, the batter large French call it the stirring of the yeast into the wine. But then obviously beyond that, the barrel itself and the flavour oak brings to the palate profile, is really in that mid palate and fills the centre. And obviously in the cooler climates, the trick is not to get tempted into trying to fill the whole gap without because that would be a disaster. So winemakers in cooler climates, I have a different shape in mind with their end target. But anyway, that’s the shot main idea.
Natalie MacLean 25:45
Does that mean you get a big boost of flavour in a warmer climate upfront? And then if there isn’t a lot of oak, that hole in the middle? Does that mean you’re not getting much flavour as the wine is moving back through your mouth? And then you get more of it on the finish?
Wakefield Wines 26:00
Yeah, you can. I mean, obviously, these diagrams, I should say, somebody will be watching this and saying, well, that’s not
Unknown Speaker 26:08
these are very simplistic diagrams illustrate the points. Very good. Yeah,
Wakefield Wines 26:12
I mean, you can do them with spider diagrams and make them into sort of eight or 10 dimensions. But as a simplistic sort of view, it does show that, in many ways, particularly with those warmer climates, areas, what the OIC is really doing is putting frame on line. And holding like, and particularly at the back shot away from all climates can get quite sloppy, if it doesn’t have a bit of firmness and a bit of structure. And the arc is also bringing that into
Natalie MacLean 26:38
the picture by firmness and structure. What do you mean by that? I understand what you’re saying. But is there a way for someone to understand that like, the fruit can be really ripe and juicy, but what is the tan? And is it the bowl that holds the fruit? I mean, what is it?
Wakefield Wines 26:53
I literally think of it as a picture frame and the as the frame that holds the picture. And it’s the sloppiness that I’ve sort of referred to it’s just because of the nature Sharma in warm climates is very tropical. It’s peachy it’s brown and juicy and generous. But you can have too much of a good thing. What the other kid is doing is giving a bit of bitter tannin, not so much that you’d think it’s at all aggressive, but just this little bit of firmness that sort of puts a full stop if you like on the taste so that it holds the wine together. People want to taste the wine.
Unknown Speaker 27:29
Wakefield Wines 27:30
Just to help you also to visualise. See, I’m thinking Dolly Parton versus Katharine Hepburn. So if you’re warmer climate, you’ll also you could be a little bit more voluptuous, a little bit more Dolly Parton. And if you’re cooler climates, beautiful acidity. You know, you’re probably looking at your favourite Tiffany’s. And there’s a little bit of elegance there and a little bit of refined.
Natalie MacLean 27:54
Yeah, I’m thinking Brad Pitt versus Sean Connery. Actually,
Unknown Speaker 27:58
Natalie MacLean 28:01
Bring it on gentlemen.
Wakefield Wines 28:04
Most of the sort of mics alive. Marlon Brando. Yeah.
Natalie MacLean 28:09
So I’ve got this as well. But I get what you mean by the framing of the yoke. It’s kind of not letting the oils run off the canvas and onto the wall. So it does sort of give that counter position, whatever. This Chardonnay, by the way is just lovely. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Tell us about the Chardonnay, Justin.
Wakefield Wines 28:27
Yeah, we’ve done a huge amount without shot and ice. I think family owned businesses and the region you’ve wronged you’ve got to stay very true to your values, and very true your winemaking style and that’s particularly evidence in our red wines. I think we’ve been able to flex a little bit more with our white wines and particularly with our Chardonnay were imported by a little burgundy house called Louie Louie. You might have heard of them into the UK. And we sent out to Megan’s our chief wine maker over the sort of not nobodies when we send you over that beat noughties in that job that was given to Adam was get the French drunk and get some of the oak because we want some of that looks out. So these Chardonnays about now arguably going into some of the best franchise in the world, done at their own trubridge outlets. And we’ve also planted some French clones of Chardonnay down the vineyards in the Clare Valley. So we’ve really shifted what we’re doing with our shot and eyes. And I think again, you mentioned a bit the hours that Sterling on leaves work a lot of our sharpnose just have this natural vibrancy and body to them. It’s actually quite elegant and subtle and then the oak integration is sublime what I love about our sharp nose now, we’ve certainly got out Okay, now fruit just magnificently. imbalanced the best Spain in the last 50 years have been doing that China is definitely the best it’s ever been
Natalie MacLean 29:54
really good balance really terrific. I mean, it’s so rich and yet it’s not heavy or flabby. Or it’s just really got that nice balance. And the leaves by the way are the bat nosh. Just for anybody who doesn’t know is this spent, he sells the leaves sort of fall out of the wind, but they have this fresh bready tastes that creamy bread, think freshly baked bread cooling on the window with butter melting it. I mean, it’s beautiful.
Wakefield Wines 30:22
This wine really shows all of those things. We started the rework on our Chardonnay programme in the early 2000s. So this is of nearly a 20 year journey brought it to this style. And it’s important in Claire because with those warm days shot and I will get overblown and overcrowded quite easily. So moving to lower yielding higher quality focus clones, and having a much more quality focus on where we’re planting the fruit getting into the cooler sites within the vineyard just means that we’ve moved the dial quite radically. And then as Justin quite rightly said, that relationship with flats or in Burgundy, means that we’re shipping barrels in each vintage, which start with us and vendors programme, which is the sort of top of our range and then cascade through and the wine that we’re tasting. It actually only sees about six months in barrel, so it doesn’t spend a huge amount. But it just gives that framing and we’ve been talking about and gives that firmness that holds that lovely peachy fruits, you know in control. I like the idea of being the glass that holds the wind.
Natalie MacLean 31:31
Yeah, borne fruit. And so for each of you, what would be your favourite food pairing with this wine? Maybe it’s hard to limit it to one.
Wakefield Wines 31:39
One thing I would say with Chardonnay is generally unless you’re in a very cool climate, high acid Chardonnay, my initial answer to that is not sushi, ie not any salmon, or Japanese style raw or lightly cooked fish. Because the oils, particularly in salmon fight with Charmin quite dramatically if you don’t have enough acidity. In general, avoid that sort of oily fish butt into white fish and and into you know, sort of a nice pan fried Cod. That’s perfect. And you know, something that’s got a little bit of browning in the pan. There’s a match into flavours that come from the old as well as White and bright blue white Cod. If I had to be specific, I’d go there.
Unknown Speaker 32:22
That sounds good. Justin.
Wakefield Wines 32:24
Yeah, I’m going chicken, I’m going a little bit itchy. And I’m trying to pick my source. I don’t know whether it’s pesto, or even if I wanted to be badly behaved and China, blues were even like a little bit of a cream white wine sort of green slaughter source. Yeah. And then I mean, the vibrancy, the vibrant acidity is gonna work through that a little bit. And I’m in a very happy place with that.
Unknown Speaker 32:53
Well, that sounds good.
Wakefield Wines 32:54
Let me be versatile, great pricing, Natalie, as I’m sure you’ve found many times, Charmaine, if it’s well made will work pretty much with most dishes. So it’s a very generous variety on the town. And it’s also very generous. Like there’s a restaurant in Sydney on Sydney Harbour called Catalonia, which I’m dragged heavily to more than once, their signature dishes that snap in like, it’s like almost like a pasta sauce. Yeah, that’d be right on the money. And then, for anyone in the COO, or across Canada, who wants to come out, I’d recommend Catalina. It’s just down the road for me. I’ll certainly drop in and have a drink with you. Do other families wives are on the list there. And I’ll insist that you have the signature snap up. Wait.
Natalie MacLean 33:41
Oh, that sounds great. Open invite you will get going again soon. I always find that acidity, especially in a rich wine is the balancing factor. It really is. And especially in this Chardonnay. And people get sometimes afraid of oh I don’t like acid but acid to me is to wine is saltist food if you use it judiciously, it’s in balance with everything else. It just brings forward flavour and lifts the whole dish or wine if you will.
Wakefield Wines 34:09
I call it vibrant acidity. It vibrates. It brings it to life. And as soon as you were like me about to a lot of wine dinners around the world when you start talking about that vibrancy in that lift, yes. dial into that very quick.
Natalie MacLean 34:22
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Great. Well, let’s go back to the charts
Wakefield Wines 34:27
presuming you gonna put up the wrestling now.
Natalie MacLean 34:29
If you like or Shiraz, whichever one
Wakefield Wines 34:32
recently just to finish off on that. One.
Unknown Speaker 34:36
Wakefield Wines 34:38
got a radically different expression. And normally when I’m trying to explain palette profiles, this is the one that people get straight away. If you’ve had a decent glass of dry erase when in your life you no matter what happens, you get this incredible spike right at the front of the acid at quality recycling, then actually tails off into quite a lot. low intensity but very long and elegant finish. So you get this quite radical shape as why making is exactly what you’re looking for, the more pronounced you can make that spike and the longer you can make that tail, the greater the risk when you’re producing. And just go back to that sushi conversation which just there’s a point at which there are some foods that’s Yes, require still more acid to cut through. And in Japan in Tokyo, the familiars there have this organisation called the wrestling ring, where they’re literally formed together as a body to identify excellent examples of research from around the world, which they then collectively are happy to say, are really great accompaniments to the classic Japanese cuisine. That’s why I sort of hopped in there with the not sushi comment on Charlie, but but in this little chat. We’re not tasting reshoots today. But people sometimes say, well, what’s the difference between a charlatan and wrestling? If you draw it like this? Everybody gets it?
Natalie MacLean 36:00
Yeah, see, that’s quite different. There’s the nice roundness of Chardonnay, and then boom. And so what is that intensity? Is it the combination of the acidity and the like the lemon zest, that sort of thing. I mean, what is the intensity here, that peak there,
Wakefield Wines 36:17
it’s fundamentally, acidity, but obviously, within the expression of quality wine, as with food carries flavour, but it also carries the flavour of the wine itself. And so you get that combination of particularly Nice use of lemon lime, that sort of zest characters. And the acidity obviously, is common to citrus fruits, in any case, but but it really throws that that expression high in use, and then as the wine ages, it develops more, quite interestingly, it becomes more toasty and more honey. So you get this almost so melting honey on toast character, which fleshes out the back, that, in fact, lessens the intensity of the of the spike. So the shape does shift over time, but in youth, which is personally how I actually like my race, things I like really young, the more radical, the better, as far as preference goes. So in youth, you get much more of this cute start, and then this lovely, long, subtle finish. And what would the long finish mean for you, again, if we can I know what you’re getting at? But how can we put it in concrete terms for people who are trying to get what that means? More often than not, it’s a case of when I’ve swallowed the wine, for how long after I finished tasting it, can I actually recall and still taste the flavour. And that can go You know, sometimes, two seconds later, and it’s no longer in your memory. And sometimes you can be talking about it, and five minutes later, you can still recall how the flavour affected you. Because it has that intensity and that complexity, that engages your mind so much, and as we talked off, right at the beginning about how to use memory, so the more flavour you got, and the more engaging those flavours are at a very subconscious level, your brain is very actively squirrelling stuff away. And it’ll do that if there is stuff the square away, if there’s nothing there, it doesn’t remember anything.
Natalie MacLean 38:18
Right? It’s why our childhood memories we remember those that have the most emotional import, the good and the bad, because they got wired in laden in with the emotions. And as you know, we both know, smell is the only sense that ties directly to memory in the brain. And why Proust starts a remembrance of things lost her time passed with that, Madeleine. It’s not the taste, it’s smell that brings back the whole 1317 volumes or whatever. That’s my
Wakefield Wines 38:53
memory of course, with both being in a dark place with the smell of a car tire.
And he was a much happier childhood than
five out of six, you certainly had to be wowed
by it and probably smells like with this Riesling, I’ve done it again recently went to a Thai restaurant, and my wife’s ordering spicy sort of dishes, grabbed him all over the Riesling. And the acidity is just cutting through that spot and it’s just such a great food wine. And then another one that I did was and it was in Canada. I was in Vancouver at the stage but I remember I was with about 1020 songs and we were going through the wines. Beautiful day we were near the water in Vancouver, and out came the Riesling. And we were all given like three oysters each three fresh oysters with a squeeze of lemon. And I just said guys and girls, I’m not gonna say anything because that’s perfect. It worked out how wonderful backline food wine matches again, and they were just lifted. each other, talking to each other and lifting each other.
Unknown Speaker 40:03
Yeah. And you’re right back there with that memory
Natalie MacLean 40:07
flavour. Great. So let us carry on with the shirreffs.
Wakefield Wines 40:12
I think what we’ll do is we’ll open this year as as well.
Natalie MacLean 40:16
Yes. We’ll taste it and then we’ll turn it. Yeah.
Wakefield Wines 40:23
In this time that we’re living his COVID world, we’re living in a world zooming each other. And that which has been amazing, that has kept us connected. But Neil and I are doing a lot particularly in North America, we’re doing these ATM tasting. And I’m finding when we finish, I just like to kick on the start. But after this, we’ve got meetings ago to start where, again,
Natalie MacLean 40:49
you’re having the breakfast of champions here, we should do be pairings with breakfast cereals, because it’s 8am your time 6pm my time, when were we at this, like, you guys have stamina, but you’d rather go have a nap after any,
Wakefield Wines 41:04
making an effort for
Natalie MacLean 41:07
putting in a good effort. Good show. So tell tell us about this sheraz also clear Valley, of course,
Wakefield Wines 41:14
we’re going to look at the shear as they actually come back onto the Cabernet. We started with the shear as as the hero variety of Australian wine. It is hugely important grape variety to us. And it’s, again a wine that sort of explains itself to the pallet when you start to think about it in the terms that we talked about. The reason it does work in Australia is because it’s extremely tolerant to different climate for growing. And in warmer climates. It expresses itself in a more licorice and tar intensity in a cooler climate, it’ll it’ll express itself more in spices and pepper characters and it loves he doesn’t like it but it does about eight. And the reason it can do the job in eight is because the thing that most people don’t realise in Shiraz is the acidity that sits in the back of the wine is that high acid grape variety. So much flavour going on there sure as and such a lovely velvety tannins when it’s right, you don’t know this for sure, as a sort of sits behind this sort of cloak of other things. But in the flavour itself if you stop and and as we professionally tend to do stop and think about taste rather than just drinking enjoy it, then the city has this very, very important role to play in keeping all of that voluptuous, generosity in check. Very for sure as charter is actually somewhat similar to the shot my picture is that is the rock sort of shape, the up fronts, lots of generosity, lots of velvety settings and softness, and engagement going on. And then at the back, you get this quite definite sort of firmness of both botanic finished, but also particularly acidity, which just runs in the background and really just sort of keeps a check on what’s going on with how all those flavours are flooding your mind and flooding your palate. So I love Shiraz from around Australia and from around the world because it does have this incredible versatility. And the interesting thing is in the really cool climates, you have to watch the shear as I work with it quite carefully so that it doesn’t over dominate the wine. And that brings us back to Claire. And for me, Claire’s a real trick because if you just grow your fruits, let it go and make you wine. And don’t worry too much about how it’s ending up, you can end up with quite a salad twist on the profile because that acid can actually step forward, it’s definitely more assertive than you find a place like the clown veil. And they’re also so you have worked carefully to make sure that that acid doesn’t over dominate the palate.
Natalie MacLean 44:00
Wow. You know, I didn’t think of sure as with the acidity in the back, but I can definitely taste it now that I’m focused on it.
Wakefield Wines 44:06
You know, I think what is it there’s there’s more astronauts in the world, but in masters of wine, but the acidity thing, I’m getting dark berry intensity there. And then when you talk about just nice, soft and velvety palate. acidity makes sense because you’ve got all that there in abundance, normally. fruits. I mean, we always talk about blackberries with sugar as well. If you think about blackberries, they’re incredibly acidic. It’s the same thing loads and loads of gushing bursting, right. Juicy Fruit but at the back was this really quite clipped acid. What’s going on?
Natalie MacLean 44:46
It’s true. I love that and I love how you’re breaking it down. It’s precise yet not overly technical and so and but I just love the plushness. It’s like, you know, big blackberry satin pillows as well. Just the texture, the voluptuousness of it. Just that
Wakefield Wines 45:00
And I’d also add with hours, because there was certainly a phase where our philosophy to winemaking. And the shore as we were producing was really under pressure because the world was demanding big, masculine, Tana and all this stuff out of Australian shores. And we remained very true to our philosophy. We wanted that old world elegance in our Surette, there’s still a lot of elegance in that why and, and I think it’s a wonderful example of what a high quality region Australian shares can be, and tastings with particularly French wine makers and the French we just did. I cannot do Australian sheraz, it is too big. And then I’ll work them through one of our surprises. And they’ll go, Wow, you’ve just reintroduced me to Australian shores and there’s a definite element of elegance and refinement to the clay does metal elevation delivers and all those sorts of things.
Natalie MacLean 46:03
The elegance like because I do like that term. But again, making that concrete it’s kind of that not overblown fruit and the acidity is holding in check the wine so it doesn’t become flabby just the way the oak is doing that for the Chardonnay. So it’s that counter posing factions or whatever, I don’t know. But
Wakefield Wines 46:23
about balance stoneware. It’s quite a trick when you’ve got something so innately big to get that balance is quite a challenge and why makers, they get rightly applauded when they get it right. Because getting the balance right, makes perfect drinking.
Natalie MacLean 46:40
Absolutely. Well, it’s like a novel to I’m working on my third book, but people like contrast, they don’t want all like Happy, happy, happy, or even sad, sad, sad thing. The back and forth, the thrust and parry. And I think that’s what we want. That’s what keeps life interesting, right? It’s just not like, all right, it’s the contrast. That’s interesting.
Wakefield Wines 47:03
I’ve had wine dinners, where, and they’re so lovely, because people will open up to you know, you’ve got that dangerous little bit of knowledge that leaves it interesting. And people want to know more. And they’re like, how do I get better at this, you know, and I sort of say, well, the obvious one is you got to keep drinking. And then the other one is, which I’ve done throughout my career, like I was trying to get better at Pinot Noir for I remember, I was trying to really get up because we’ve got such New World sheraz palates in Australia at times. And I just spent a year just drinking Pinot Noir, and I just drank Pinot Noir from all around the world and whatever. And bit by bit by bit, I was just starting to dial in and dissect what it was. And I think you can do that with Australian charades and be very happy year in your life. Just getting out cooler climate that warmer climates sheraz and what people are doing with oak and vibrant acidity, and it’s, I agree with you, people want to keep it fresh. Ui journey is such a journey throughout your life. And it’s just every time you do another course or you drink another one, you go to another one to the US guys. Oh God, I just got so much to learn about this.
Natalie MacLean 48:12
Because that’s another counterpoint to and makes you realise what you don’t know and all the rest of it. And but that’s what makes it interesting. Absolutely.
Wakefield Wines 48:19
That actually just triggered another one of those wine stories. Natalie, I know you’re
Unknown Speaker 48:23
Wakefield Wines 48:24
That journey of yours in Pinot Noir. Bruce Terrell is obviously famous in the wine world out just in a normal part of Australia’s first family with the wine which we belong to. And Bruce heard that Justin was doing this Pinot Noir journey, and out of the blue reception phone is set up as possible for you here. And Justin opens his parcel, and there’s two bottles of seriously good Grand Cru burgundy. And a note from Bruce saying, if you’re on the journey, you really should go to the top. We sort of got on to this sort of wine surgery, but oh my god just spent a whole lot of money on on Justin’s education. And I sat there waiting for him to invite me to dinner and it’s so funny that w had he’s got now who are not worthy. I will tell this guy now I’m on my journey.
And my wife and I enjoy them immensely.
Natalie MacLean 49:23
Great, good education. Yeah, well, let’s not forget your Cabernet. I’ll also go back to the chart again just to take a look at that to refresh our memory here.
Wakefield Wines 49:35
And what I would add Neal speak to it in a minute but with Kevin I sivignon If my father is still alive and kicking if your dad walked in and cutting himself, there would be small amounts of blood would come out of him, but a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon. We are a Cabernet family. When we first planted those vineyards. He was 230 acres he was predominantly carbonated. Beyond in the late 60s, and at that point, the family had the biggest planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in the southern hemisphere. So we really went deep into Cabernet Sauvignon. Again, if dad was given a choice of picking anyone on any wine list anywhere in the world, I would guarantee you pick a Cabernet and he want to Cabernet with minimum four to five years of age. He loves Cabernet with a little bit of age.
Natalie MacLean 50:27
So not sure as but Cabernet. Interesting. Yeah.
Wakefield Wines 50:30
Yeah. I mean, the whole Tyler Wakefield story is the catalyst for those of his passion to make great calculate.
Natalie MacLean 50:40
And I just get a hint of mint. I think, where does that come from? I hear lots of theories, eucalyptus trees. So I’m
Wakefield Wines 50:48
going to jump in neolo go technical, if he wants to. But it’s Eucalyptus and I have found over the years with us, our cabs pick up the eucalyptus, more than the Chavez I always find in my younger brother is the general manager of production down in the Clara Valley, and simple story that he had to put windbreaks in trees in around the vidiots. And he picked great guns, he got a bit, a tree, you name it, he could have built a hedge out of it. But he picked great guns. So you’ve actually got a lot of these great gum trees around our vineyards. So the great classic eucalyptus trees only won’t go too technical, Eucalyptus, because I don’t know the answer. I find it fascinating paradox. And the science isn’t in on what causes this, there is definitely a relationship between proximity of eucalyptus to vineyards, and that within, particularly in yards that have cooler climates. So how that exactly works, I’m absolutely sure it’s not going in through the soil up through the fine. There’s obviously eucalyptus oil is very far out, which is the essence of why we have bushfires in the world. So those volatile oils in a hot day, 3540 degrees Celsius in the clear, will become volatile airborne, and therefore will settle on the fruit. So that would say okay, well you can see that coming across then in the harvest a crop into the winery. But if that’s so then why does the recycling and Shiraz and Chardonnay
Natalie MacLean 52:28
also have it? Yeah. And somebody I interviewed, said airwasher, they were talking about air war, as opposed to terroir, the floating oils and different things. But yeah, you think that it would impact all of the grapes equally, but you’re right, it’s definitely did not get it on the Shiraz. It’s bit
Wakefield Wines 52:45
nice, quite definitely a capillary. And it may be that because cabaret has this herbal elements to its flavour profile, it may be that it’s just a little bit like acid see with spices in your food, it may just be that that combination accentuates that expression, I really don’t know. It’s an echo in the background of our cabin isn’t clear where to go. So for the south to coonawarra It’s a far greater part of the question. So there’s definitely a climactic elements of the conversation. As I mentioned, I think right up the front, I always think of Napa Cabernet with Claire in play do get a lot. The cooling effect of the diurnal shift is great for so called days cold nights, really works for maintaining the structure in the Cabernet, as we showed on the chart needs that firm expression, but you also need it to be ripe. So you in places like Claire and Napa, you have these lovely warm days when the vines do get going. They get going in spades and you get this beautiful ripening. The hang time is long, so you’re getting tanning ripening as well as flavour ripening. And you end up with this firm about ripe tannin and then I see it as a cast these like beautiful, very generous flavour right at the front and then as the one matures, if we give this one a year or two, it starts to become sort of chocolate tea and coffee, sort of like in its nature, which just sort of builds beautifully with if we use French oak in the maturation of the Cabernets where we were using American oak for the sheraz which give more of that toasty coconut character in the cabinet we’re using French which is is a more of that sort of classic tobacco and see that sort of thing so all of these flavours come together but that Charlie just flicked up really says it to me. How it how it is with Cabernet. You start with this tenant and just a fraction of a second before your brain says I don’t like that flow with that flavour but your brain absolutely loves. jots also a classic Kevin a sometimes gets referred to as the donut Why? There’s A hole in the middle that can go a little bit missing the middle, good cabinet that does not happen so and I so do agree. We lifted our mid palate. I think it’s vibrant acidity to is helping with that. But again, beautiful use of high quality French oat is coming into play in the mid palate. And then Kevin eyes length, length, length, many muscle length. The sheraz had you know, I went with Dolly Parton but it had the velvet You know, it had that velvet happening there where this is just this is Katharine Hepburn This is to me this is the elegance is really coming in. And it’s funny in Australia because we drink a lot of Sharad and we love Asher as and we do it very well. But then when you’re in a cabin, a family or a family who loves cat, you come back to cat and you sort of go Why am I not drinking more of it? And it’s the elegance of that always strikes me at a great food war.
Natalie MacLean 55:56
And I have to agree with you. It’s very Sean Connery.
Unknown Speaker 56:04
Natalie MacLean 56:08
So what would you pair with this wine this Cabernet?
Wakefield Wines 56:11
So I’m going to jump straight. It just got lamb. Lamb like, and when we do us at wine dinners around the world, invariably, it never misses. Like there’s lots of venison, there’s all sorts of things. But when you do it with lamb, Australian lamb and abroad across Canada, when I’ve done the dinners over the last decade, someone’s gone and made the effort to get that lamb and it’s they really seem together.
Natalie MacLean 56:38
Why do they work so well together is a juicy fattiness of the meat. Like what kind of
Wakefield Wines 56:46
I certainly think that that juicy fatty nature to lambs and meats hasn’t got a lot to do with it, it’s effectively absorbing and marrying into those structural elements, the assets and the tenants that are there in the cabinet, then, you know, depending how you cook the lamb, but particularly if you’re in that Sugriva roasted, or slightly pan fry. So you’ve got a bit of rounding on the outside, rosemary and flowers, all of those married together beautifully with the actual wine flavours themselves. So that’s a marriage, maybe it is a marriage, right. And it’s a subtle, flat plate when I go sure as I tend to go straight back to red meats and stages, because they’re both bigger, you know, they’re more intense on the palate, both of them and they can they can match up with each other. Whereas lamb just as that step back is capitalised that step back from sure as I can speak to each other. And for the vegetarians out there. We’ve been obviously eating our way through most of the food groups we have at home. It was a vegetarian. We started as a plant based moussaka at home, literally last week, nice sort of winter dish, or bacon and, and it was obviously the white cream sauce that runs through that. But also there was sort of fried up alumium broken into it and then baked together with the layers of eggplant. So beautiful dish. And we have Kevin with that. So it works for the vegetarians as well.
Natalie MacLean 58:12
My goodness, that sounds like a good breakfast for the two of you. This is great, you guys. Well, I’m sure you have some work to do over there. But this has been a great conversation. And just to wrap up because I didn’t really get to some of these trends because I love the conversation. What’s the situation right now with the wildfires? I know that the clear wasn’t affected too much. But what’s the situation? What can we expect, perhaps from other regions? Will they have an impact on the lines? What’s going on with that?
Wakefield Wines 58:46
It’s obviously been a real wake up call for the world, I hope with the whole issue of climate change and the tipping point on what happens when things do get out of balance. And you know, I don’t think any of us would like to live through the summer that we experienced at the beginning of this year. It’s been an interesting year all around really, so far. So you’re quite right. I mean, the fires themselves affected between one 4% of your strike and vinyasa base so most parts of the country weren’t directly impacted. And Claire was certainly not subject to the fires, although we got them through gavai deals, where we do have some fruits, we don’t own vineyards in the hills, but we certainly draw fruit from that. So for us, it was that region that were particularly concerned with and not because of loss of vineyards. I don’t believe any of our growers actually physically lost their vines, but the smoke hangs heavy in the air and in a bushfire you know we were talking about that Eucalyptus character getting onto grape skins Well, if you’ve gone past arrays on when the grapes go into that final softening and ripening phase, if you get smoking the vineyard of that stage, the skins are very porous and those four flavours of the smoke get into the skins and into the fruit. So we have had an impact in terms of fruit, physically unavailable crops not harvested in some cases. So you probably will find Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and it’ll be available because not everybody was impacted. But the net effect is some people have not made the wines. And therefore the total available for people to try to buy a bottle from the Adelaide Hills won’t be as easy to come by. And whether it’s there or beach worth of the Hunter Valley. If you are in position as a wine drinker in California, and you see those wines on the shelves, please buy them because those guys do need some cash flow to help rebuild vineyards and restart. There was lightning backing in some thoughts about that. So I don’t know if that answers your question. But it’s been a traumatic experience.
Unknown Speaker 1:00:55
Natalie MacLean 1:00:56
I’m sure. And I know it’s not your personal experience. So that’s why we didn’t go into it in depth. But to a large extent, are the fires now contained and moving on,
Wakefield Wines 1:01:08
it’s weeks a year now. The worst the worst, the worst of it were, his diet was back on January, sort of thing. So but those they burned rages. So 2020 is like the year you almost want to put a line through. It was January and February. Then I came back to work in February, then we went straight into COVID. It was so funny. Last night, I was watching the news. And there was a little 14 year old boy was lost in the Australian bush. And they found him last night. He’d been in the bush for two days for 48 hours. And it’s winter now. So the nights really caught. And I just said Good grief we needed. We needed some. I was watching that. So I thought if that little kid doesn’t make it. That’ll be it for maybe 2020. So, but it gives a lot of Well, that’s a great story.
Natalie MacLean 1:01:59
I agree like just all that we’ve been through. And not to be simplistic about it. But thank goodness, we do still have wine to bring us together. Even if it is on zoom tastings like we’re doing right now. It is I think the drink of conversation, communion and connection. And let’s hope for better rest of 2020 and onwards to 2021.
Wakefield Wines 1:02:21
So that’s a beautiful sight outside in my family is the great oceans of the world may divide us the great Wines of the World. bring us all together. Lovely, better. We use that now table very often.
Natalie MacLean 1:02:34
Well, let’s raise a toast gentlemen, then. Here’s to a good finish. long finish a good finish in 2020. And this has been terrific. I’ve so enjoyed chatting with you both.
Wakefield Wines 1:02:45
Yeah, thanks for the time. You’re here, so.
Natalie MacLean 1:02:53
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Justin Taylor and Neil Hadley. Here are my takeaways. Number one, I found their charts for visualising the taste of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling interest, so helpful, especially when understanding the abstract tasting concepts like a hole in the middle. Be sure to check out the link to that video chat in the show notes so that you can see what I’m talking about. Number two, the Claire Valley climate is so different from other Australian wine regions. Make it a goal to seek out these wines and try them if you haven’t previously. Three that acknowledge or stirring the leaves adds richness, depth and creaminess to wines that I absolutely love. And for the discussion of the importance of acidity and balance in wine was intriguing. And it helped me better understand why I love the wines I do. You won’t want to miss next week when I’ll be chatting with Dan spec, one of the three brothers who own and operate the Henry of Pelham winery in Niagara. we’re chatting about how family run wineries are different from those owned by larger corporations, and how that affects almost every decision from the way the wine is made to how it’s marketed. In the meantime, if you missed Episode 11 with Forbes wine columnist, Katie Bell, go back and take a listen. We chat about what makes a wine great, and she has some terrific stories to share. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
Unknown Speaker 1:04:29
One of the most fascinating story was 10 years ago, somebody based in epernay Frenchmen snuck into the vineyard at night and injected two vines with pesticide and poison. Oh wow. Then a few weeks later, he sent a letter to a bear. And the letter basically had a map of the vineyard and circle the two vines that he poisoned, said obviously you’re trying to protect your vaunted reputation. So if you don’t give me a million euros, then famous Oh, that is Amazing Oh, David lane, of course is not concerned about his reputation. And so he contacted the investigators and they made fake euros and the guy said I want you to put my million euros in the cemetery nearby. So of course they put the million fake euros in the cemetery and staged police officers and he watched fine picked it up and they nabbed him not long after and I said, Yeah, I just got to prison and this is a way to make some money.
Natalie MacLean 1:05:32
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who be interested in the wine tips that Justin and Neil shared. You’ll find links to the wines we tasted a link to the video version of the chat so you can see those charts we discuss where you can find me on Facebook Live video every second Wednesday at 7pm and how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash 98 Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I have something great is in your glass this week. Perhaps a wine for which you can visualise the taste because it’s so colourful.
You don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash subscribe, maybe here next week. Cheers