April 10, 2008

Tait "Ball Buster" (Really!)

Shiraz / Barossa ValleyShiraz / 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!

I was invited to a Ridge Vineyards tasting this evening in Arlington, VA. I can't wait to taste their portfolio. I'll be sure to report on my favorites later in the week. Please be sure to leave your comments after tasting. Let me know if you agree with my tasting notes.


  1. this wine was reviewed on the tony kornheiser sports radio show on WTEM. They loved it!

  2. I heard this wine reviewed on the Tony Kornheiser sports radio shows. They loved it!

  3. Anonymous10/4/08 23:29

    Sack, Thanks so much for the comment. What's not to love? It cracks me up that they reviewed it on sports radio....but good is good...How about them Nats..!


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