Tait Ball Buster Red Australia 2006
Tait has been establishing a track record for hedonistically rendered wines at friendly prices for several years. Previous vintages of this wine have been smash hits and the 2006 The Ball Buster is a lock to continue this trend. It is a 15,000 case cuvee, all of which was Basket Pressed, a labour-intensive process not commonly associated with a wine in this price category. The wine is composed of 78% Shiraz, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot aged 12 months in used French and American oak. Purple coloured, it exhibits a classey bouquet of cedar, earth, tar, expresso, bluberry, blackcurrents, and licorice. Supple, ripe and soft on the palate, this seamless crowd pleaser of a wine can be enjoyed now and over the next several years. It is an awesome value
Shiraz / Barossa Valley 91 pts. / $14-$21 This is the second time I have reviewed Tait's "Ball Buster". I raved about it last year when the 2005 was released, and I was looking forward to see if the wine quality would remain consistent. It has. I actually purchased this wine last year to give as a gag gift to a fellow wine geek. He had a tendency to give me a hard time about some of my reviews, so the "Ball Buster" moniker was appropriate. It was Australian, reasonably priced and certainly good for a few laughs. Well, the joke was on me. The wine was, and is, a fabulous value. The 2006 is as good as the 2005, but different. The 2005 was rich, chewy with lots of glycerin. It had good structure, and had the bones to lay down for years in the cellar. The 2005 has softer tannins. Still remarkably delicious, just softer, ready now and easier to drink. The wine is actually a blend. It is 78% Shiraz, 12% Cabernet and 10% Merlot. Each grape brings strengths to the blend. This is another case of the whole being better then the sum of its parts. Those of you that have been reading over the years know I am a sucker for a big, fruity blend. This is it. The wine pours a deep purple typical of this style Aussie Shiraz. It is lip staining purple. The nose leads with fresh asphalt, earth, lots of blue fruit, coffee and some anise on the end. The flavors are explosive. Blueberry, mocha, tar are mouth filling and satisfying. You can taste the tannins, but they are velvety, more mature and not overwhelming. I have found this wine on-line from $13.99 to $21. This wine, especially in this vintage, is a must try. Don't let the silly name or low price fool you. This is a seriously good wine!
Exhibits a classy bouquet of cedar, earth, tar, espresso, blueberry, black currants, and licorice.