Kaesler ‘Old Bastard’ Barossa Shiraz 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley - South Australia
Chief & Senior Winemaker: Reid Bosward & Stephen Dew
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’ - gnarly old ‘bush vines’ planted in 1893. 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 2018 ‘Old Bastard’ Shiraz is the 125th vintage of these 12 rows of ancestral vines. As the status of ‘Ancestral Vines’ - within the Barossa ‘Vine Charter’ - classifies bush vines that are 125+ years of age.
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.
You can imagine these fragile, extremely low cropping vines require respectful management and careful hand-harvesting. As the fruit comes into the winery, just 100 metres from the vineyard, 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 then racked to 80% new Burgundian oak and 1-year old French oak barrels. After malolactic fermentation the wine is racked returned to barrel for around 12-16 months. A wine that lets the intensely complex fruit characters do all the talking - a fruit driven core, supported by balanced oak.
✱ After pouring you will be greeted by a dark purple-red colour, with a rich garnet hue. On the nose your senses will be hypnotised by a rich, intensely fragrant wild blackberries, cassis, blueberries, morello cherries, cacao and deftly smoked dried spices. These flow onto the broad palate which is a rich tapestry of dark forest fruits with all those dynamic flavours engaging your senses. Then you have savoury spices of anise and nutmeg with mocha-coffee, cacao and vanilla pod highlights. All of these generous elements are nicely wrapped in taught tannins and dovetailed oak. These rich characters are elevated by natural acidity, resulting in a well-balanced Shiraz with a wealth of riches, seemingly defying the laws of gravity. The 2018 ‘Old Bastard’ Shiraz with decanting can be enjoyed in the short-term. But would appreciate and reward time.
This 2018 Kaesler ‘Old Bastard’ Barossa Shiraz has 14.5% Alc./vol. *(If opened in the next 2 years, I would encourage decanting for 60-90 minutes) and serve in a generously shaped red wine glass at 16° - 18°C. *NZ$259.99
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 29/7/22)
With good decanting approachable, though would appreciate another 2-3 years, and will age well for another 18 - 20 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with lamb shanks, aged prime cuts served with a rich wine-jus, wild game and well-seasoned pasta dishes, earthy vegetarian cuisine and aged, hard cheeses - enjoy.