2006 Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams Shiraz Pressings
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.
The 2006 Tatiarra Cambrian Shiraz’s are a collectors' must!
'HERALDED BY GARAGISTE IN SEATTLE AS THE NEW GENERATION GRANGE'
The most sought after of the Tatiarra reds, and clearly a modern benchmark for Australian Shiraz. The colour is a complete saturate of black purple, which clings, paint-like to the glass wall. The nose is a powerhouse and heralds the flavour packed palate. The wine has a monumental but balanced structure. Superb nose of vanilla, violets, ripe blackberries and black pepper with a hint of liquorice. The palate is a concentrate of Shiraz with flavours of plum, spice and blackberry emerging and totally encasing the palate. Layers of black pepper lurk in the background over a hint of vanilla. Perfectly balanced, ripe tannins, a wine of exceptional length & aftertaste.