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Producing healthy, full flavoured grapes is the first part of the puzzle in creating complexity, but without ‘layering’, the wine may still appear to be simple, even though it is concentrated in flavour.
Enter Tatiarra’s winemaker, Ben Riggs.


Above: Looking down the fermenting tank of
2002 Tatiarra Cambrian Shiraz.


Ben [pictured above] is one of Australia’s great Shiraz winemakers having spent fourteen years at Wirra Wirra (McLaren Vale, South Australia), as well as having worked vintages in California, France and Italy. Presently, he makes wine for a number of companies, including his own ‘Mr Riggs’ label.

At Tatiarra, Ben attains complexity by working with Tatiarra viticulturalist, Ian Rathjen, to achieve low, fully balanced yields. The grapes are hand harvested, placed into small buckets and then transported to Geelong where the Tatiarra wines are made. The truck arrives at Pettavel winery at around 6:00pm the same afternoon and the grapes are immediately crushed. At the winery, Ben works in close association with local winemaker Peter Flewellyn from Pettavel wines. State-of-the-art winemaking and laboratory facilities aid in the winemaking process.

Fermentation is carried out in a number of different types of fermenters with the five-tonne open fermenter being a major influencing factor. These small open fermenters allow the cap to be plunged by hand in order to maximise colour extraction. Neutral yeast strains are used as opposed to wild yeasts. The rationale for this decision is that Ben wishes to avoid some of the ‘funky’ matchstick aromas that can result from using wild yeasts. A variety of new French oak barrels are used from a number of different coopers with casks being made by toasting and steam bending - again adding a layer of complexity. These barrels include Saury (steam bent), Transaud, Francois Freres and AP Johns American Oak barrels. Each barrel is kept separately and its development carefully monitored.

After a period of maturation, wines that are not up to the high standards demanded by the winemaking team are ‘culled’. Let us modestly make the claim that these culled wines would be the joy of many lesser vineyards, and for those wishing to gain an insight into the style and structure of the wine Tatiarra is aiming to produce, the culled wine offers an excellent introduction.

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Jacques Reymond [pictured right] is one of Australia’s leading chefs who has received enormous acclaim at his restaurant in Melbourne. Jacques was asked if he could develop a special recipe that would be the perfect match for Tatiarra Cambrian Shiraz. The dish was first served to a group of high powered financiers at Jacques Reymond Restaurant on October 8th 2003. Jacques has agreed to publish this recipe for wine lovers to enjoy with their Cambrian Shiraz.

Tatiarra Cambrian Shiraz and Tea Smoked Chicken with Glazed Oysters and Shallot Confit. Serves 8.


I x size 16 chicken
2 litres Chinese master stock
1/2 cup rice
1/2 coffee sugar
1/2 cup Chinese black tea

Truss and poach chicken in master stock at 85 for 45 minutes. Then allow to cool in the stock which may be used again after boiling. Remove chicken from the stock And allow to drain well. Mix sugar, tea and rice and place in the bottom of a foil lined wok. Place the chicken on a cooling wire to suspend it above this mixture and cover with a well fitting lid, steel bowl or aluminium foil. Heat on the stove until generous smoke is created, shut off heat and allow smoking, repeating the process until the chicken has an obvious smoky flavour. Remove the breasts and cut in long thin slices.


12 large shallots
I tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
I tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Peel and slice the shallots, sweat in oil until transparent. Deglaze with vinegar and cook out, add red wine and salt and pepper and continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated and the shallots are soft and glossy.


16 large Pacific oysters
2 cups red wine
I tbsp red wine vinegar
I tbsp sugar

Reduce the wine, vinegar and sugar to a glaze. Drain oysters well on paper towel and when ready to serve heat glaze in a shallow pan and add oysters keeping the pan no hotter than 60’c. The oysters will plump and be very glossy when ready.


1/2 celeriac
I nori sheet
150g Besan flour
I pinch chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
I pinch ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 curry leaves, diced
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
I pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp black pepper, crushed
soda water


Cut the celeriac into batons and tie in small bundles with strips of non. Combine all other ingredients and using a fork, make the batter being careful not to overwork it. Flour the celeriac bundles and dip them into the batter and fry at 180 until crisp and golden brown.

To serve, arrange 2 tsp of shallots and place the oysters on top. Place a celeriac fritter next to it and a few slices of the tea smoked chicken.

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Jaques Reymond Restaurant is located at:
78 Williams Rd
Prahran, VIC 3181
Tel: (03) 9525-2178
Fax: (03) 9521-1552

Email: jrrest@ozemail.com.au
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Entire contents Copyright 2010 Domaines Tatiarra / Tatiarra Vineyard, Gibb Road, Toolleen, (Heathcote), Victoria, 3559. ABN 98 090 457 819
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