Tait ‘The Ball Buster’ 2019
The first production of the Ball Buster in 2002 was 600 cases. It entered the market at a time when Aussie wines were on fire, but high scoring ones were expensive. Bruno Tait committed himself to making an awesome Shiraz based Barossa red, and having it retail for under $20. This vintage marks Tait’s 17th year of this iconic blend, named as a “tongue-in-cheek” tribute from Bruno to his wife, Michelle. This is the only wine in the world to ever receive 10 or more consecutive 90 point reviews or higher, in The Wine Advocate, at the $20 mark. In fact, the 2016 vintage marked 15 straight vintages since its inception, of 90 point or higher reviews – a feat that is unlikely to ever be repeated by any other wine. Not much has changed over the years. It is still made with high quality fruit and hand crafted winemaking. Even as production volumes grew, Bruno has been committed to maintaining quality and avoiding shortcuts and price gouging. For those consumers that enjoy the opulence of wines like The Prisoner, but would like some elegance as well – this one’s for you.
91 pts Josh Raynolds
Opaque ruby. Smoke- accented aromas of ripe dark berries, pungent flowers and vanilla, along with a hint of white pepper that adds spicy lift. Concentrated, expansive cherry liqueur, blackberry and fruitcake flavors become more energetic as the wine opens up. Round, well-knit tannins frame the appealingly sweet finish, which hangs on with impressive, dark fruit-dominated persistence.
Fruit for the 2019 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 approximately 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 & unfiltered.
The 2019 Vintage was characterised by a very dry winter and spring where rainfall was 75% of normal rainfall levels. This was followed by hot, very dry conditions in January and February. The Barossa recorded a 30% drop in yields compared to the 2018 vintage. The lower yields resulted in Barossa Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon with great colour, intense flavours and firm tannin structure.
Color : Dark black rose with magenta highlights.
Aroma : Rich spicy notes, supported with balanced vanillin oak, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a generous lashing of redberry fruits.
Palate : The palate is rich and bold, supported with balanced fruit and acid. The long finish is
ongoing with fine tannin and dark chocolate.
77% Shiraz, 12% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon