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2006 Oliver's Taranga Vineyard Shiraz
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- Cellar 5 - 8 years (2013-2016)
- ABV 15%
- Closure: Cork
Don and Margie Oliver are exceptional grape growers. So good in fact that Penfolds deemed them a ‘must have' supplier of fruit for Grange. Allegedly, big numbers were whispered during negotiations, far above McLaren Vale's top range of average fruit prices per tonne. It's a moot point when one learns that to this day, around 85% of the Oliver's production supplies grapes for wines like Hardy's Eileen Hardy Shiraz ($90+), Penfold's St. Henri ($80), Bin 389 ($50) and Penfold's Grange ($499+). With the balance, the family have been producing miniscule amounts of unpretentiously packaged Shiraz & Cabernet, easily passed over even if you do happen to find them. It reflects the fact that the Oliver's winemaking venture began as something of an experiment.
Growing up in McLaren Vale and being a 6th generation Oliver family member, winemaker Corrina Rayment [pictured below] found her direction early. She enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Oenology) and in 1994, first charmed her Grandfather & Uncles to let her have some fruit from the Oliver's Taranga vineyard to make a small scale wine with pioneering local winemaker, Pam Dunsford. (Pam is known for her work at Chapel Hill Vineyard and was the first female to study at the Roseworthy Agriculture College). Today, Corrina's determination has seen her join the company of what is literally a handful of female South Australian winemakers, a reality to which she's only too aware: “I have been lucky in the sense that the media and people’s opinions have changed a lot over the years. The traditional image of winemakers was of a pot-bellied older gentleman with wine stained teeth. That has changed dramatically and now there is a willingness to accept ‘young guns’, whether they are male or female.”
While fresh-faced Corrina won't be found mustering cattle on horseback, repairing fences or maintaining heavy machinery, her unaffected, can-do attitude and ambition to make world class wine in a traditionally all male profession, reverberates with Australian 'Jillaroo' spirit. Of course, there's also the family's historical connection with farming and cattle that might have rubbed off along the way. The Oliver's first arrived in McLaren Vale in 1841 and by 1843 had thirteen head of cattle. Shortly afterwards, the family adopted the native name of 'Taranga' for the property which subsequently gained a strong reputation for quality livestock. After a few years, most of the region's farms had established small vineyards and made wines for their own consumption or trade. However, it's thought that William Oliver was probably the first of the small makers in the Noarlunga or Seaview districts to make enough wine to sell on any scale. Over the last decade, the Australian wine industry has come full circle with the consolidation of what ten years ago were considered to be Australia’s leading brands, now controlled by a handful of international players. Thankfully, a new generation of winemakers has responded. 'Young guns' such as Corrina Rayment are leading the revolution in Australia's wine regions creating personally styled wines of breed, structure, quality (and value) from old vine material that their families have tended for generations. 'Jillaroos' (and 'Jackaroos') are presently riding at the frontiers of Australian wine, having the guts to push boundaries and strive for something better with every vintage.
A bargain by any measure!
Don Oliver believes the 2006 Taranga Shiraz is the best they've produced to date and the 2006 vintage was one of the best they’ve experienced. The result is a bigger Oliver's Taranga than in past vintages, making for a 'toothstaining', stylish red that would cause some of Corrina Rayment's senior pot-bellied colleagues to blush. Fruit is sourced from a variety of blocks with an average vine age of 30+ years. The wine has spent 18 months in a combination of French and American oak of which only one third was new. Opaque black crimson colour with black crimson hue showing excellent cling to the glass. Superb nose of liquorice, spice, violets and blackberry. The palate is very impressive with ripe joosy fruit characteristics. Flavours of vanilla, liquorice, plum and spice back palate flavours supported by perfectly balanced fine dryish tannins. Very long aftertaste of black pepper, spice and plum.
Cellar 5-8 years (2013-2016)