Kaesler ‘Old Bastard’ Barossa Shiraz 2014
Grape Varietal: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: Barossa Valley - Australia
Chief Winemaker: Reid Bosward
5 Stars ★★★★★
The Kaesler ‘Old Bastard’ Barossa Shiraz is arguably one of Australia’s most highly regarded wines. The wine’s name refers to a small number of ‘old bastards’ - ‘bush vines’ planted in 1893. This Shiraz reflects the essence and philosophy of Reid’s winemaking along with showcasing a unique vineyard site of international quality. The ‘Old Bastard’ Shiraz has consistently been rated as a benchmark Barossa Shiraz - highly sought after by wine enthusiasts and serious collectors around the globe.
This year marks the 20th celebration of first vintage released in 1998, plus the 125th celebration since the winery and vineyard used to produce this wine were founded in 1893. Reid has consistently produced this age-worthy wine from his ancient vineyard at Kaesler. This vineyard was a secret ingredient of super-charged Shiraz grapes used by other Barossa wineries for their premium labels and even fortified wines for over 100 years. Reid made an offer to purchase the 1-hectare vineyard in Nuriootpa, and this was how the current Kaesler ‘Old Bastard’ was born.
These vines have just joined the status of ‘Ancestral Vines’ - the Barossa ‘Vine Charter’ - that classifies bush vines that are 125+ years of age. You can imagine, these fragile, extremely low cropping vines require respectful management and careful hand-harvesting. As the fruit comes into the winery, due to the intensity of these small, rich-ink-black berries. They experience low intervention to extract characters, so after a short period of vinification the wine is transferred to the highest quality Burgundian oak. Matured in 35% new and 1-year old oak barrels. The winemaking practices for this wine are a closely guarded secret, which I will respect, but all one needs to know is a consistent philosophy is employed. The result, a wine that lets the intensely complex fruit characters do all the talking - a fruit driven core, supported by oak.
Reid and Stephen Dew are able to bring out the best in these old vines and have learnt how to manage this fragile ancient vineyard. The Shiraz vines in this vineyard, are a unique clone of Shiraz now extinct in France, with its own unique flavour profile and characteristics. This is what makes the ‘Old Bastard’ such a complex old soul. The ‘Old Bastard’ Vineyard is just 12 rows of awesome 125-year-old vines. With the vineyard being located less than 100 meters from the back door of the winery.
• After pouring into your wine glass, you will have a dark purple-red colour, with a vibrant garnet hue. On the nose your senses will be prepared by a rich, intensely fragrantly fruit driven aromas of wild blackberries, cassis, blueberries, morello cherries and earthy spices. These all follow onto the palate which is a rich tapestry of dark forest fruits with all those intensely flavoured blackberries and mulberries engaging your senses. Then you have savoury spices of anise and nutmeg with ground-coffee and high cacao chocolate notes. All of these explosive elements are perfectly contained by skilfully infused tannins and entwined supportive oak. Highlighted by good natural acidity and resulting in a well-balanced Shiraz with controlled power, which lingers on the palate, seemingly defying the laws of gravity. The 2014 ‘Old Bastard’ Shiraz with decanting can be enjoyed in the short-term. But would appreciate and will become more prominent with time.
This 2014 Kaesler ‘Old Bastard’ Barossa Shiraz has 14.5% Alc./vol. I would encourage decanting of around 50-60 minutes and serve in a generous wine glass at 16° - 18°C.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 16/09/19)
Drinking now with good decanting; plus, will age well for another 12 - 14 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing lamb shanks, prime cuts of meat served with a rich wine-jus, game and well-seasoned pasta dishes, earthy vegetarian cuisine and aged, hard cheeses - enjoy.