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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:  The 2010 season was a near perfect one right up until the last moment when the vineyard was hit by a hail storm wiping out a large portion of the crop. Diligent work in the vineyard managed to salvage some fruit. Quantities harvested were deemed insufficient to produce a Cambrian Shiraz and therefore all wine was declassified into Culled Barrel Shiraz with some parcels further declassified and sold off in bulk. No Caravan of Dreams or Trademark Shiraz were produced from the 2010 vintage.

Colour:  Opaque black dark crimson red colour showing good depth

Nose:  Lifted dark fruit aromas of ripe blackberry and liquorice with some supporting toasty oak and spice nuances.

Palate:  This is a more elegant version of Culled Barrel in comparison to the weighty richer styled 2009 vintage. Generous flavours of ripe blackberry and liquorice with some underlying toasty oak and vanillin spice characters. Supplely textured with velvet smooth tannins. Good depth with long ripe blackberry, liquorice, toasty oak and a hint of blackpepper aftertaste. Drink over the next 4-5 years.

Alc/Vol: 14.5%
Bottled with Stelvin Seal.
Packed in 6 x 750ml Cartons

Other Reviews....

Uninspiring colour turns out to be irrelevant, for the wine has plenty of blackberry, licorice and spice fruit supported by ripe tannins and good oak. Ben Riggs' skills to the fore.
Drink by 2025
92 points
James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion


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