Tait ‘The Ball Buster’ 2017
90 points Wine Advocate February 2021:
“Made in the same full-on style that proprietor Bruno Tait has been pursuing since its first vintage in 2001, Tait’s 2017 The Ball Buster Proprietary Red is a blend of 77% Shiraz, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. Mint and baking spices lead the way, backed by a big mouthful of blackberries and black cherries. Full-bodied yet supple, it’s spicy and rich, with lingering notes of mixed berries and spice on the finish. Despite weighing in at 15.9% alcohol on the label, it doesn’t seem hot or overripe—an achievement in itself, but past vertical tastings suggest that this wine can develop nicely for a decade or more.”
Fruit for the 2017 Ball Buster was sourced from 7 different sites in the Barossa Valley. Vine age varies between 10-30 years. The grapes are de-stemmed and tipped into large open fermenters, pH is adjusted and fermentation takes place over 7-10 days at a temperature of pproximately 74 degrees F. Plunging and pumping over takes place 3 times a day during this period. The wine is then gently pressed using traditional basket presses. Juice is drained from there to barrel, where it spends 18 months in a combination of used French and American oak. The oak that is used, is there to impart some subtle flavors but more importantly, to create softness in the wine. Blending of the different components wine takes place to ensure a wine which is dark in color, rich and juicy on the palate and full bodied, but with good balance and length. Ball Buster is always bottled unfined and unfiltered.