Reviews of expensive wines sometimes seem a dime a dozen. When you head to industry events, the big guns are always cracked out – which is fab, don’t get me wrong! – but at the same time not indicative of how most people really drink. And, sadly, it’s also not indicative of how I drink. In some ways, I wish money were no object when it came to wine, but actually I enjoy seeking out wines which over perform.
And this is some kind of justification for now writing about a wine which, if you head out to buy it, will be difficult to track down and will set you back around $50. Sorry for that.
Over the years, I’ve worked for quite a few different companies in my ‘proper’ job and the quality (or dearth) of Christmas gifts has always been an interesting insight into management pysche. One small company gave us all a whole case of wine one Christmas, one company gave us nothing, and one gave us this wine, a bottle of 2007 Kaesler ‘The Bogan’* Shiraz from the Barossa Valley.
Kaesler is a privately owned winery in the Barossa, and the first vines were planted in 1893. It releases wines in three ‘series’: Stonehorse, Estate and Limited Release. The Bogan falls under the Estate banner and its Shiraz grapes come, in part, from a vineyard over 100 years old. It’s a carefully crafted wine, built to age, and one that, at just seven years of age, you’d expect to be something of a baby.
And in the glass it looked like a baby: very intense and a deep, inky purple. The nose was pronounced, complex and showing slightly more development. Licorice and tar were first off the rank, backed up by blackberry, chocolate and tobacco and there was something ever so slightly green and stalky.
In the mouth we’re talking about a lot of black fruit – lots of blackberry, with anise, licorice and a hint of black pepper. Good acidity and tannins that are slightly grippy and chewy provide excellent structure and mean that you needn’t be in a hurry to drink any spare bottles you have lying around. While the alcohol is apparent it is not intrusive or particularly unbalanced and the wine has a lovely, complex length.
Yes, this is a delicious wine with a good future ahead of it. Would I rush out and pay $50 a bottle for it? I’m on the fence here, but I’m very grateful that there is another bottle in the cellar that I can revisit in a couple of years.
* For non-Australian readers, ‘bogan’ is Australian vernacular for an ‘uncouth or unsophisticated person’. It is, naturally, derogatory.