Barossa Valley, South Australia, $60 (375ml), screwtop
With names like 'Rizza', 'Stonehorse', 'The Bogan' and 'Old Bastard' Kaesler has to be responsible for some of the coolest named wines coming out of Australia. Established in 1893 these guys have some old, old vines and the 49% Grenache, 32% Shiraz, and 19% Mourvèdre that make this wine up come from 70, 45 and 105 year old vines. I'm a fan of half bottles for a little mid-week tipple and the other day Watson's unbelievably had this little guy at less than half the price of a full bottle. My bottle was number 4145. Purple fringed, dark and intense, the Kaesler 'Avignon' 2006 smells damn tasty. Straight up there's a whiff of meat, but then it's all about fresh red fruits, strawberry conserve and milk chocolate. The palate's just damn fine too with juicy plum flavours leading the way. This opened up beautifully with a couple of hours in the decanter. Initially I was a tad scarred when I saw the 16% alcohol listed in the label, but while it was warm there was no sign of ungainly alcohol heat. It's got a long, long finish and soft fine tannins just extra class to this finally balanced and poised wine. The Kaesler 'Avignon' 2006 is a fantastic wine and pretty impressive value to boot. I kind of wish I'd bought a full bottle or two rather than just the 375ml in bottle number 4145.
Visit winery website.