Named for the mysterious Otto von Kasper who planted the vineyard in the early 1990’s, the von Kasper Cabernet is packaged, like The Beast, in a heavy glass bottle with cork and the distinctive, stylish Hentley farm livery. Not ever to judge a book by its glamorous cover, the wine inside is so much more than its pretty label… indeed even a sniff of the nose made my mouth water. A delicious nose of cassis and vanilla, licorice and saddle soap, a hint of eucalyptus and petrichor. Ripe and powerful, the wine is almost chewy in weight and mouthfeel, with acid in balance and firm tannin grip. It has fathoms of intense flavour and is authentically cabernet, even in its Barossa Valley ripeness. Wonderful. Tuscan beef peposo – slow braised beef shin – and creamy polenta.
Review by Melissa Moore
Excited to see where this can go and for cabernet to stamp its own unique personality in a region where it is often overlooked by shiraz. Bright aromatics jump out of the glass – blackcurrant jam, earth and black pepper. Palate is firm and high-toned with black olive tapenade, black plum and a lick of blue fruit (blueberry pie) and some aromatic herbs rounding out the super-fine, energetic palate. Will age a treat!
Drink 2024 – 2035
The surprise package of the 2020 Hentley Farm releases is the von Kasper Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes that’s right Cabernet Sauvignon – relatively rare in the Barossa but when right makes some of the region’s greatest wines.
The key to this wine is its razor edge balance between powerful fruit and refined tannins that make it a serious ageing proposition. It is deeply coloured and instantly shows generous sweet cassis fruits with a faint leafy edge supported by plenty of balanced oak. The palate is dry, and a little closed for the moment, with its powerful fruit would up in a blanket of tannins. There is superb fruit purity and focus suggesting it will get better and better over the next decade as a start. Pull it out in 10 years with a simple rack of lamb.