altTait "The Ball Buster"

73% Shiraz, 15% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon

Barossa Valley

2009

Winemaker Notes

TAIT created “The Ball Buster” to fill a niche market in the USA for a Barossa Valley Shiraz based wine. The focus was on getting a quality wine in the bottle for that particular price point.

Each time something odd happens, we say to ourselves, it is a “Ball Buster” moment! Like the time we were loading a tanker with “The Ball Buster” blend and the tanker tipped up. Luckily we only lost 20 litres!

As the back label suggests, the wine was going to be called “Michelle’s Block” after my wife Michelle however we really wanted something punchier and eye catching; something that would standout and say “buy me”!

The quality of the wine would then lead them to buy the next case or two. As soon as our USA importers tasted the barrel sample they got onto the phone and explained this wine needed another name, as “Michelle’s Block” conjures up visions of a soft and elegant sort of wine – and trust me mates, this little beauty is nothing like that.

Sitting down with our neighbors, a thesaurus and the wine in our glasses, we brainstormed many ideas for the wine and back label. We laughed how the wine industry can ‘bust your balls’ and cause blood, sweat and tears. So, with our ideas in mind, the discussions with our US importer and our US agent’s brilliant word-play ability, ‘The Ball Buster’ was created.

Initially we did have reservations on the name, however, after a few hours of soul searching we decided to go for it! We wanted this wine to make a statement; we wanted to break the wine snob barrier; we wanted to make great tasting wine at an affordable price; wine that people could enjoy and have a laugh about. All too often wine is described with certain adjective’s, but lets face it the majority of us only know if we like it or not. This is the way I like to make my wine. I hope that you all do to.
Since the first vintage in 2002, demand has been steadily increasing. The majority of these cases are sent straight to the US. The rest of the supply is distributed to Canada, Asia, Denmark and here in the Australian domestic market, including cellar door.


WineChump Notes

So, we went to A Southern Season in Chapel Hill.  The store just did a "reset" (which is retail for when a store changes its floor plan, moves assortments around, replaces shelving, etc.).  The wine aisles looked a bit different.  A Southern Season's Joshua, our personal wine steward, guided us to the Australian wines, and he made several suggestions.  Outside of some regulars we've tasted (like Red Heads Studio's Barrel Monkeys beautiful Shiraz), Joshua recommended Tait's The Ball Buster.  He told us the story about the wine, and we popped a bottle into our basket before selecting our decadent dinner of skewered shrimp, crab cakes and BBQ ribs.  Well, needless to say -- in genuine WineChump tradition, where we don't talk about a wine we don't like -- it was great!  Jammy, with a fantastic finish, this blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is quite good!  Hooray for us (and our new friend, Joshua)!

Average Price: $24 (at A Southern Season)

Find it at  Southern Season