Wine Review: Tait 2008 Barossa Valley, The Ball Buster

I saw this wine in Costco and I wondered if I should give it a try.  I’m weary of wines with outrageous or edgy names.  I picked up a bottle and read the back label, and there I noticed the alcohol content: 16%!  Okay what the hell its only $15, I’ll give it a try.  I had it in my fridge for a few weeks before I could get around to trying it out, and Friday night seemed like the right night.  It was a busy hectic day, an end to my first week back from my vacation to Vancouver, British Columbia where I “experienced” the men’s gold medal hockey game.  That means I watched the game in a casino right next to the stadium.  I poured the wine in my decanter and then decided to run some errands while the wine opened up.  I returned 3 hours later!  And ready to drink some wine too!

The Blend: 76% Shiraz, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot

Tait, The Ball Buster

Alcohol: 16%

Where from?:  Barossa Valley, Australia

The nose: slight cigar box, licorice, cherry.  The nose was not incredibly aromatic, even after 3 hours in the decanter.

The Palate:  Here’s where this wine got really interesting.  Right away I noticed the incredible texture.  This wine has the consistency of heavy cream, incredibly silky almost slippery, weighty. The next thing I was hit with was how concentrated the fruit was.  Almost like a liqueur with a very ripe blackberry flavor.  Then I noticed the tannins, which were quite well-rounded.  I expected the tannins to be chewy and out of control for some reason, but they are actually quite soft for such a big wine.  One thing that is absent from this wine is the earthiness that some Barossa valley Shiraz’s have.  That can be good or bad depending on how “earthy” or funky you like the aroma of your wine to be.  Personally, I can go either way, as long as it’s in balance.

The Finish:  Powerful almost Port like with licorice and chocolate.  Surprisingly less heat than one would expect from a 16% wine.

Conclusion:  I would recommend this wine to anyone that says they like the big bold fruit forward styles of Shiraz and Zinfandel.



  1. I had this wine in a restaurant once…I agree, it was very good! Do you know where you can buy this wine?

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