Tait The Ball Buster 2008
Inky ruby. Sexy aromas of blueberry, mulberry and candied flowers, with a suave, spicy quality adding interest. Lush and creamy in the mouth, offering weighty but lively dark berry flavors and showing no rough edges or tannins. Finishes sweet and penetrating, with the blueberry note strongly repeating.
The Ball Buster is a perennial Best Buy in these pages. There are 15,000 cases of Tait’s 2008 Ball Buster, a blend of 76% Shiraz, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Merlot aged for 12 months in seasoned, predominantly American oak. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant perfume of pencil lead, licorice, spice box, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Layered, savory, and long on the palate, this well-balanced, pleasure-bent effort will drink well for another 4-6 years.
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The inspiration behind Tait Wines was Giovanni Tait (1927-1997). Giovanni Tait migrated to Australia from Italy in 1957 to take up work as a cooper in the Barossa. His... View More
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.