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2006 Tatiarra Cambrian - Museum Release Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2020-2021)
- ABV 15.5%
- Closure: Cork
Was $69.99 Now $44.99
Tatiarra, in five vintages has established a formidable reputation as one of Australia’s great Shiraz producers. The success did not happen by chance, and at its core is the extraordinary terroir that the vineyards are planted on. Tatiarra was founded by Bill Hepburn, & re-established by the 'Old Man' and the late Bill Spring, who then gathered around them a group of shareholders whose obsession in their own businesses was with perfection. Tatiarra then sought to find the districts top viticulturists in Ian Rathjens and Bob Wilson and teamed them up with two of the country’s best winemakers, Ben Riggs and Peter Flewellyn. To understand the notion of perfection is to understand the nature of an obsessive mind which is constantly pitted against the forces of nature. What is ‘perfect’ one year and has been achieved through a particular process, may not reach the same state of perfection in another year. The forces of nature are constantly throwing up new challenges which have to be responded to in a creative way that enhances the final outcome – an extraordinary wine.
The 2006 Tatiarra Heathcote Shiraz wines are the fifth release, with the sixth vintage still in the barrel. These wines have more power and structure than those of previous vintages – perfection over perfection, yet how is this possible? In order to answer this question, one needs to understand the notion of micro viticultural management as opposed to broad acre management. A detailed soil survey was commissioned with sixty eight pits being dug at 100 metre spacing, to a depth of 1.5 metres to determine the soil profile in each segment of the existing vineyards and those of the new areas to be planted. The survey produced a detailed assessment of the soils physical characteristics across the property. The objective was to determine the soil characteristics that were responsible for impacting the vines growth, thereby indicating the optimal management techniques in order to produce even more extraordinary wines. Soil chemical analysis was also undertaken to determine the best management strategies for the future. This resulted in a detailed map of the entire block, and produced sub-classifications of the 500 million year old underlying rock structures and the 100 million year old Cambrian soils. Five Cambrian subgroups were identified which then lead to a much better understanding of vine development and grape flavour development.
Today the vineyard is managed as a series of tiny vineyards reflecting the sub-surface soil types. As the seasons change and the impact of Global Warming is felt more and more, the rules for pursuing perfection will change and be modified to cope with the shortage of water and the shorter, warmer growing seasons. The commitment is to continue to produce the extraordinary. The challenge is to anticipate the changes and adapt to ensure that the viticulture responds to climate and winemakers demands for perfection.
Several months prior to bottling, each barrel of Tatiarra Cambrian Shiraz is assessed for its quality and contribution to the final blends of the wines. The winemaking team is ruthless in their assessments, which causes great concern for Tatiarra’s financial controller, as seemingly excellent barrels are declassified to be designated as Culled Barrel. The Tatiarra Culled Barrel has established itself as a wine lovers bargain, as it is composed of exactly the same fruit as the flagship wines. The difference being often a technical point, making the Culled Barrel an absolute bargain. Tatiarra wine collectors fall into two groups. The first are genuine enthusiasts, who cellar the wine to enjoy it, whilst the second group tend to be wine investors, who drive prices up at auction. Previous vintages of Caravan of Dreams have sold at auction for over $130 a bottle, with the other wines doubling in value.
At ten years of age this wine is still in tip top shape. It opens with an impenetrable inky black core and a very deep dark red hue. Elevated aromas of liquorice, ripe black cherries and blackberry invade the nostrils followed by vanillin oak, dark chocolate and spice. Exceptionally concentrated and rich the palate is saturated with liquorice allsorts, blackberry, confectionary, vanillin cedar and blackpepper flavours. It shows virtually no signs of development. Very fine grained, velvet like tannins with an underlying rock like structure. Superb length. Exceptionally long aftertaste of liquorice, confectionary, ripe blackberry, vanillin oak and blackpepper.
Drink over the next 4-5 years.
Retasted June 19 2010:
Totally opaque saturated black crimson with black heart and very deep black crimson hue – magnifcent colour. The nose leaps out of the glass with a powerful, perfumed amalgam of blackberry, liquorice, violets and confectionary followed by some liquorice allsorts and spice – a very intense sniff. Full bodied, the palate displays an explosive favour experience – blackberry, liquorice allsorts and confectionary favours fll every corner of the mouth and are followed by some blackpepper and spice on the back palate. Outstanding persistence and depth. Perfectly integrated very fne grained tannins that are almost velvet like but still provide the wine with a rock like structure. Exceptionally long aftertaste of liquorice, ripe blackberry and blackpepper. A Heathcote powerhouse that’s evolving beautifully. As a side note we tasted this wine side by side the 2006 Wild Duck Creek Springfat Shiraz which whilst an excellent wine (rated 96 points) it did not have quite the structure, complexity or the incredible favour persistence of the Tatiarra.
Cellar 8-10 years (2018-2020)
First Tasted Nov 6 2007:
As with previous vintages, this wine is a saturate of colour- black purple with black purple hue – a hallmark of all Tatiarra wines. Superb lifted nose of cedar, vanilla, violets and freshly crushed blackberry followed by spice and nuances of liquorice. A seamless explosion of flavours with black and white pepper melting into blackberry, violet infusions and liquorice allsorts. Perfectly balanced with fine velvet tannins. Exceptional length and depth with very long aftertaste lasting for minutes. A triumph for the viticultural and wine making team.
Cellar 10-12 years (2017-2019)
Over the last five vintages I’ve bestowed every possible accolade on this wine that I could muster - it is what it is: one of the greatest wines in the world. We pioneered this wine in the US 4-5 years ago (in The Big Australian Review) and I’m happy to see it has earned the respect it so duly deserves - from the toughest critics: you. The 2006 vintage is in very limited supply (only a few retailers will have the 2006 as compared to previous vintages) and it will probably be the most admired of the Cambrian series for its sheer wall of rock personality (I think there are only 100 cases of the 2006 coming to the US - as opposed to several thousand for something like Grange so take note).
Where the Pressings has more of a round character within the wall of rock, this is just plain stone-faced with an elegance that is like Margaux of Shiraz - it should age for a long time. Think 2005 Cambrian mixed with something like Palmer and you will be close. An incredible achievement for any wine producing region of the world.
Jon Rimmerman, Garagiste Seattle, Washinton, USA.
The 2006 Cambrian Shiraz is a glass-coating purple color. It delivers an expressive perfume of spice box, pepper, blueberry, and blackberry. Made in a racy, elegant style, it has layers of ripe fruit, superb concentration, and enough structure to evolve for 5-7 years.
The Wine Advocate #173 - Jay Miller