The fame and high reputation of Kaesler’s provocatively named The Bogan derive from two blocks of old Shiraz vines on the floor of the Barossa Valley, one at Marananga, planted in 1899, the other at Nuriootpa, planted in 1965. Marananga contributes blue-fruit flavours, Nuriootpa tends more towards black-fruit characters. The Bogan is bottled without filtration and can deliver, as Wine Front’s Gary Walsh puts it: ‘a delicious hit of dark Barossa goodness.’
The synergy between the two results in a layered, complex wine, velvet-smooth, full-bodied and concentrated, with supple tannins and the underlying structure to support long ageing. Typically, the hand-harvested grapes spend 8-10 days macerating on skins before fermentation, after which they are pressed to French oak barrels, 25% new, the remaining two or three years old, for 12-13 months maturation.
Smooth and unctuous, this impressively pure, luscious expression of the Australian ‘burgundy’ style red has an earthy, faintly spicy and meaty bouquet of blueberries, red berries, blood plums and cedar/chocolate oak. Supported by a fine, firmish spine of loose-knit tannins, it’s long and polished, finishing with notes of licorice and minerals.
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.