With a deep purple hue and crimson edges, the 2003 Taltarni Heathcote Shiraz delivers a concentrated bouquet of plums and ripe raspberries, black pepper, coconut and vanilla. Powerful flavors of rich plums and blueberries are balanced by vanilla and chocolate overtones, with a touch of iodine character only found in Heathcote.
Established in 1969, Taltarni was one of the founding wineries in the iron-rich Pyrenees wine region in Victoria. John Goelet, a direct descendant of the Guestier wine merchant family of Bordeaux, discovered the Taltarni Vineyard through a worldwide search for a site comparable to the great vineyards of Bordeaux. From the outset, Taltarni has a strong French influence with the initial plantings of Bordeaux varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Soon after, Taltarni extended its plantings with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. The Goelet family also sources Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Taltarni has built its reputation on elegant sparkling wines that are crafted using methode traditionale techniques, as wells as producing exceptional red and white wines. The distinctive labels, featuring a 17th century cartouche, represent the attention to detail and the French elegance and finesses that are hallmarks of all Taltarni wines.
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From stickies to Pinot Noir, Victoria is varied in its wines. The southernmost state of Australia, Victoria is third in wine production, after South Australia and New South Wales. The state is home to the cool-climate Yarra Valley, Yarra Valley, a producer of quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well the warmer regions of Rutherglen & Glenrowan. These two areas are hot and dusty and famous for their sweet, fortified stickies.
Lots of coastline gives Victoria a cool climate, appropriate for growing grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Many new regions are discovering their growing potential – especially with these grapes. Inland gets warmer, and some of the best fortified wines are made here,as well as some good Shiraz. Victoria also makes the most Sparking Shiraz.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.