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2003 Kaesler "Stonehorse" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia

Kaesler makes dense wine, but this deep rubied 2003 Barossa Shiraz gives open and sturdy fruit, with tannin and acidity all in balance. I in the same style of Barossa Valley Shiraz, it's big and bold but the rich, spicy, chocolate fruitcake never really steps over the line. It is boarder and softer than 2005, less intense as 2006 and shyer than the toasty expresso tones of 2002.

Awarding it 92-94 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate write that this is a fruit-driven, exotic, in-your-face Cuvee, spending the 2003 Shiraz Stonehorse (which spends time in old oak) and offering offers lovely black cherry and blackberry fruit as well as medium to full body, but not as much espresso roast, vanilla, or tannin as the 2002 Old Vine. This richly fruity offering sells for a song. It should drink well for a decade or more. It is an excellent introduction to the more seriously structured, denser Kaesler style.

Stonehorse is the primary range, yet its making is not simplistic at all. The grapes are old(30 to 40 years old planted in 1985). From the From the official website, it says the following. "Hand-picked and fermented with live yeast for a healthy ferment. Nine days of skin contact with the ferment being pumped over twice a day for 20 minutes each time. After fermentation, it was pressed, let still for one day, then put to barrel. Following MLF fermentation, the wine was racked off its lees and then returned to the barrel, where it stayed for 15 months. The average age of the barrels was about three years old. Hence, just a hint of oak but still allowing the fruit to dominate." The wine bottled with a light filtration, and so, it is a concentrated yet fruity Shiraz with some complexities.

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