Revisiting the Kaesler crew:
It was perversely relieving to scoot up to Kaesler for another drinking a fortnight back, without the er, incentive of the second part of the exercise. Reid, Stephen and Sarah McMahon sat in the cellar with me, chatting around a table with about three metres of ordinary-size bottles: new, old and future releases of the wines they make there from their suite of excellent vineyards in Clare, Barossa and McLaren Vale.
Another step off the old track is the brilliant Kaesler Barossa Valley Viognier 2013 ($25; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 91+ points). I love the fact that this doesn't smell like apricot. Which is what everyone thinks Viognier should smell like. I mean it's cool if it does, but I suspect that once you've begun to get those apricot/dried apricot aromas you're getting the damn thing too ripe; if it tastes apricotty you're probably teetering around fifteen alcohols. Far too much. That's hot not cool. This is not like that. Think fresh soft ginger root. But it's more savory, and I mean the herb savory, Satureja hortensis: a fresh meadow smell as green and creamy/buttery as tarragon. The flavours are right up that provincial French track, so start with a tarragon chicken and white wine casserole with shallots and you'll be singin'. This is a beautifully gentle wine whose texture is perfect for such fowl. Get some bad people around for your casserole and try this one agin Tim Smith's equally delish 2014.