Wine Review: Tait The Border Crossing 2015

Wine Review: Tait The Border Crossing 2015

Wine Review: Tait The Border Crossing 2015

Producer: Tait

Region: McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Grape: 85% Shiraz 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2015

ABV: 15.9%

Price: $21.49


Tait’s The Border Crossing was a beautiful bottle of wine. This Shiraz was also the first Australian wine I had that made me think, “Oh wow, this is good wine.” Tait Winery can be found within Barossa Valley, the dominant and one of the most well-known wine regions of South Australia. The winery has an interesting history with the founder immigrating from Italy in the 1950s and fine-tuning his wine craftsmanship over the years. This particular bottle comes from another wine region in South Australia, McLaurin Vale, which is just down the road from Barossa Valley.

Apart from being an Australian wine, this bottle of wine screams Australia with its mix of fruit-forward notes and earthy spice. With the majority of the wine being Shiraz, there is plenty of mouthwatering acidity and pepper, and the moderate amount of Cabernet Sauvignon adds dark fruit notes and a fuller mouthfeel. Together, there is plenty of soft plum, dark cherry, and fresh woodsy-earthy spice to go around for a fuller-bodied, slightly jammy Shiraz blend.


McLaren Vale is a relatively famous appellation of South Australia and is known for producing world-class Australian wine. The region can be found alongside the coast of southern Australia, just south of Adelaide. McLaren Vale is known for its Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and even some oddball reds such as Grenache.

The region has a moderate, Mediterranean-like climate. Being located on the coast and having such proximity to the ocean gives for moderate to cool temperatures. The area tends to reach fairly high temperatures during the growing season, but those temperatures drastically drop at night allowing for the development and retention of good acidity and other fun bits. The area is fairly hilly with an elevation ranging between 20m (413 ft) to 413m (1,355 ft) and contains a variety of soil types. All of these together allow for great-tasting, diverse wine.


Tait Border Crossing was a Shiraz heavy blend, so we will focus on the Shiraz. The grape rose to fame and originally found its use in France’s Rhone Valley, where it is still widely used in Southern Rhone’s Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre (GSM) blends and Northern Rhone’s single varietal Syrah’s. In many places, particularly new world wine regions and countries such as Australia and South Africa, where new world Shiraz often comes from, the grape is referred to as Shiraz.

Shiraz is known for being very full-bodied, having a lot of acidity and tannin, and having big notes of dark fruits, pepper, and often times a big hint of herbal-floral notes. In new world Shiraz, especially with Australian and American varieties, the grape is known for being very fruit-forward and jammy.


The nose starts with bright cherry and soft plum and leaves with hints of oak and spice. As the wine opens up more, the cherry becomes darker and the plum balances out with the red fruits. A woodsy earthiness also becomes more dominant. The notes themselves do not change much, but they become increasingly integrated and complex as this beautiful shiraz aerates.


On the tongue, there are medium tannins, high acidity, and a slightly jammy, full body. Dark fruits, mainly jammy, soft plum, is the most dominant initial note I found on the first sip. After that, comes the same woodsy earthiness I found on the nose. These two balance each other out and integrate well over time. Tait Border Crossing has a surprisingly long, fruit-forward finish with a big hit of dark cherry. As it aerates, the dark cherry only intensifies, and the three main notes blend together for a beautiful bottle.

Final Notes:

This bottle is a steal for how good and how inexpensive it is. The average price on Vivino is $21.49, but it can be easily found for a couple of dollars cheaper. The 2015 Border Crossing was a fairly small batch wine with only having 1108 cases produced. While there are only a few distinct notes; plum and cherry, woodsy earthiness, and pepper; they work together to create a surprisingly complex and layered bottle of wine.

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