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This ‘near perfect’ reject is the result of Tatiarra’s ruthless pursuit of perfection with winemakers Ben Riggs and Peter Flewellyn culling any barrels that are not up to the lofty standards of the Estate’s top labels.

Region:  Heathcote, Victoria

Winemakers:  Ben Riggs & Peter Flewellyn

Background:  Tatiarra produces four styles of Shiraz and any wine that is not suitable for inclusion into the main blends is labelled as ‘Culled Barrel Shiraz’. An accountant would argue that growing a single grape variety is not exactly a prudent business practice, for if the demand for the variety wanes, Tatiarra has no other wine to offer. This may well be the argued case in larger, more diverse wine producing companies, however Tatiarra is a specialist niche producer. The company’s obsession is not to be the biggest, but rather one of the best Shiraz producers in the world. In order to achieve the extraordinary quality of Tatiarra’s flagship wines (Cambrian, Caravan of Dreams & Trademark), each barrel from each vintage is tasted and classified. Any barrels, that for whatever reason, fail to improve the flag ship wines are culled. Winemakers Ben Riggs and Peter Flewellyn are ruthless in their selection, and it is often with considerable dismay (and subsequent financial loss) that the winemakers declare a barrel not worthy of the main blend.

Vintage Conditions:  In contrast to the preceding 2008 vintage, 2009 was one of the strongest years experienced at Tatiarra with only a small portion of fruit needing to be Culled. Whilst the drought conditions persisted, through the diligent use of water, that had to be bought in by the company, vineyard manager Bob Wilson was able maintain the vineyard in an impeccable state and produce some of the best Shiraz fruit in the district..

Colour:  Opaque black crimson colour showing excellent depth

Nose:  Lifted scents of ripe blackberry and liquorice dominate intermixed with some vanilla and spice nuances

Palate:  This is a big Culled Barrel displaying more weight and richness than the 2008 vintage. Mouthfilling flavours of ripe blackberry and dark plum are followed by some liquorice and vanilla with a strong peppery presence on the back palate. Excellent depth and tannin structure. Long blackberry, liquorice, vanilla and blackpepper aftertaste. Drink over the next 5-8 years.

Other Reviews….

The 2009 Culled Barrel Shiraz has a deep garnet-purple color and pronounced aromas of licorice, rose petals, blackberry and blueberry preserves, Indian spices, Ceylon tea, violets and a whiff of tar. Very crisp, rich and full bodied, it has a medium-firm level of fine-grained tannins and a generous amount of fruit in the mid-palate, though the finish is a little shorter than expected with medium-long persistence. Delicious now, it should continue to give pleasure through 2015.
90 points -
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate

2009 Tatiarra Culled Barrel Shiraz
This is a rich, ripe shiraz showing strong blackberry characteristics. The palate is firm, but balanced, and is packed with vibrant shiraz flavour. Cellaring 3-5 years is essential to see the best of this shiraz. Excellent Value. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Average score of 4 judges: 16.88/20
Alc/Vol: 14.5%
Bottled with Stelvin Seal.
Packed in 6 x 750ml Cartons

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