2001 Kaesler "Old Bastard" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia

SKU #1143553 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Racheting up the level of concentration, intensity, flamboyance as well as structure is the 2001 Shiraz Old Bastard. Although expensive, it is produced from 110-year old vines, and represents one of the great classics from Barossa. When compared to the price of a wine such as Penfolds Grange, it is a reasonably good bargain. The inky purple color is accompanied by gorgeous aromas of smoke, camphor, melted licorice, blackberries, cherries, and flowers. Dense, rich, and full-bodied with the wood well-concealed beneath spectacular concentration and extract, there is not a hard edge to be found in this old vine Barossa Shiraz. (RP)  (8/2003)

96 points Wine Spectator

 A big but remarkably elegant wine, focusing its pure blueberry, blackberry and plum flavors on a laser beam of finely balanced tannins and judicious acidity, persisting on the finish with glints of white pepper, licorice and coffee. Serious stuff that begs for cellar time. (HS)  (5/2004)

95 points James Halliday

 Full red-purple; intense, concentrated dark fruit aromas lead into the expected intense and powerful palate; here blackberry, plum, prune and spice intermingle; happily, the wine has not been over-extracted and has good balance. It comes in a Dreadnought bottle with a wax seal and rather droll label design. I can actually imagine drinking my share of a bottle of this in my next life; the time remaining for me in this life is too short. (Tasted 12/2002)  (7/2011)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated deep ruby to the rim. Flamboyantly ripe aromas of blackberry liqueur, chocolate and eucalyptus. Rich, pliant and thick, with brooding flavors of blackberry, blueberry, chocolate and mocha. Offers superb palate presence. A very fat wine that finishes surprisingly bright, with huge but suave tannins and a note of raspberry. (ST)  (7/2004)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Gets 100% new French oak for two years, and it shows. This is a big wine, with jammy berry and plum fruit that's doused in toasty, smoky flavors. Similar caramel-vanilla notes ring true on the nose. Finishes in a crescendo of caramel, and black plum and berry flavors. Excellent, to be sure, but also just massive. Don't try to drink this with anything other than a date and a bearskin rug—it's just not going to go with dinner. About 300 cases produced.  (2/2004)

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Price: $119.99
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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley