2011 Tait, The Ball Buster, $20.00

I’m often asked if I’m related to the Tate’s Rental family. Well, even though this Tait is spelled the same as my sired name, there’s no relation here either. This Barossa blend of Shiraz (75 percent), Cabernet (22 percent) and Merlot was originally going to be named “Michelle’s Block” after Bruno Tait’s wife. Wanting something punchier and eye-catching, they came up with Ball Buster. In my opinion, it’s misnamed. Yes it is Aussie Big: (black fruit expressive, coffee, coco, 14.9 percent alcohol, American oaked vanilla and cinnamon spice), but the blending gives this wine a balance that somehow keeps all those Aussie Big flavors from muscling each other around, while still showing them off. Joy and I enjoyed it with a lamb and venison chili. Initially the chilis muted the mid-palate, revealing a grapy sweetness, but the wine eventually recovered, bringing back all its boldness and nuance. Big enough indeed. No, not a Ball Buster, but definitely Ballsy.