Terrible name for a post….but there’s not really any other way I can put it. Certified Organic and Biodynamic, their expression of the Barossa is certainly heading toward being a benchmark for the “new” breed of winemakers from the district embracing inevitable change whilst acknowledging the past and always aware of where they’re from.
Kalleske “Plenarius” Viognier, Barossa Valley, 2014
Kalleske’s first attempt at an “orange” wine. Forget all the arguments about hispter, faulty, faddish wines. This is serious stuff. “Plenarius” translates as ‘Full, complete, entire or absolute.’ Wild fermentation and held on skins for 7 days. Maturation in old French oak. Completed malolactic fermentation and then spent another 10 months on lees. No fining, no filtration, no added sulphur. “Nothing added; nothing taken away.”
The colour of burnt orange in the glass. Extreme nose of tinned apricot/peach stone fruit slices “in natural juice.” Sweet jasmine flowers, ginger spice. A little reductive cabbage leaf and “white board texta,” but certainly not to the extent of being out of whack. Much lighter on the palate than the nose and colour suggest. Plenty of grip and the extract that’s expected from the winemaking, but there’s also a lovely lightness of being carried by the acid. Fleshy Turkish (dried) Apricots dominate with a toffee-syrup like sweetness juxtaposed with quince like tartness. The wine isn’t unctuous or flabby as some rich viogniers can be and certainly isn’t a lightweight either. An absolute delight to drink.
Kalleske “Rosina” Rosé, Barossa Valley, 2015
A blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Viognier. Wild ferment and barrel matured. Bright cherry in the glass, but not sickly pinckly electric neon. Smells of refreshing raspberry cordial, some “Strawberry Milk” (like as in a Big M/Moove/Masters/), blackberry, black cherry, smoky grilled apricots and lipstick.
Complex amalgam of red currant, crispy acids and a good solid amount of phenolic/tannic grip with just the merest hint of apricot jam topped with peppery spice. Alive and yummy.
Kalleske “Zeitgeist” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2015
There may have been a time if you’d released a Barossa Shiraz in the same year as the vintage, people would think you’re a bit of a nutter. But in the interest of making wines for drinking and not sitting in the dark for 10 years and even when the 2015 whites aren’t released yet comes this interloper. The labelling and bottle..old school serious packaging, belie the intent. “Zeitgeist” translates as “the spirit of the time as shown by the ideas or beliefs” or just what’s hot right now.
Plenty of pepper and extract that wraps around your gums. There’s a yeasty, Vegemite character that sits notably above the primary dark fruit, but it adds to the character. Earthy beetroot balances rich plums. So fresh. Almost like drinking juice straight out the press. I’d love to see this off tap or even out of cask, a bottle seems too formal for the spirit of the Zeitgeist.
Kalleske “Dodger” Tempranillo, Barossa Valley, 2014
Named after the “vine dodger” that pulls the weeds from the single vineyard whilst avoiding the vines themselves. This machine has been in use since the early 1900s and the horse that pulled it was only replaced in the 60’s by tractor. A natural, successful way to control the weeds without the need for chemicals.
Distinct herby rubber note, juicy dark red currant and stewing cherry, a wee whiff of leather, rocks, licorice and a meaty bit of fresh animal guts (in a good way)
Thin and sour-edged when I first poured it, leaving it to warm a little (even Tassie room temperature is a little cool) has let it blossom beautifully. Chalky minerally complexion and lovely tart, dark cherry flavours. There’s toothsome and teeth searching tannin, a hint of acid and lovely remnant flavour of herby anise molasses syrup.
Get a few friends, crack a bottle and pour everyone a generous glass , get a slightly charred lamb back strap, still pink in the middle, carve it thick and stick some in your face. Lean back every few chews and swig from your glass and enjoy all the pleasures.
Kalleske “Moppa” Shiraz/Petit Verdot/Viognier, Barossa Valley, 2014
The front label only states Shiraz, but as this makes up 85% of the contents, the 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Viognier aren’t required to be listed (they are mentioned on the back label however.) The Petit Verdot was fermented alone and blended back in, but the Viognier was co-fermented with a parcel of the Shiraz. Matured in 25% new American, French and Hungarian Oak
Pretty nose. Softly nutty and spiced. Plum skins, white pepper, apricot fur and a little bit of milk chocolate sweetness. Medium bodied and juicy acids that drive the wine forward so it doesn’t sit on its laurels. Spiced plums, soft blackberry and purple flowers. A little bit of sweet apricot stone fruit as a sotto voce from the Viognier. Plenty of grainy tannins from the Petit Verdot and oak invade each corner of the mouth and provide the framework and plenty of grip. Lovely modern take on the Barossa.
Kalleske “Merchant” Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley, 2014
Named after Troy’s brother Kym, who along with being as grapegrower is also miller of hay and chaff and a farmer of lambs. Single Vineyard. Old and new French oak. Powerful nose: Espresso Coffee, mahogany, bitter chocolate, earthy snapped twigs, blackberry. Lean on the palate with long, drawn out tannin tendrils dominating like a chewy tendon from a shank of lamb. Blackberry, bitter coffee, distinct spice, sweet glimpses of vanilla oak like a can-can girl’s lace swirl and dance. Barossa Cab can sometimes be a one trick sweet dark fruit pony, but this is all sinewy tannic goodness for the moment, with that rich hint of gorgeous blackberry fruit waiting in the wings. Just wait, if you can.
Kalleske “Fordson” Zinfandel, Barossa Valley, 2014
Named after the Fordson tractors that arrived on the farm (and inevitably replaced the horses that pulled the Dodger). Zinfandel is also known as Primitivo in the spiritual home of Puglia, the sunny and warm heel of Italy’s boot. Single vineyard and aged in old oak.
Pot Pourri, cauliflower leaves, raspberry and walnut play together nicely. Smooth and glycerol silkyness makes this almost effortless on the palate. Plenty of deep, dark red fruit like a fluffy cushion packed with flavour. At first it seems simple, like big dopey labrador that just wants to be patted, but there’s frame with natural fine silty tannins that prove it’s more.
Kalleske “Buckboard” Durif, Barossa Valley, 2014
Single vineyard, new and used American oak.
Earthy and dense. Smells of soil, warm espresso grounds, tobacco, violets, prunes and caramel tinged vanilla creme. Thick, chewy and a touch hot. The acid is well marked towards the high side. Leather, asphalt and dusty purple fruits fight for attention over mouth puckering tannin. The sweet caramel from the oak influence lingers long. This is a beast for the moment and demands appropriate spit roasted animal to balance the structure.
Kalleske “Eduard” Old Vine Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2013
Made from vines planted 1903 – 1973. Spends 2 years in Hogsheads. Profound and perfumed. Primary fruit mixes with mature old vine smells. Leather, warm blackberry coulis, black cherries, peppercorns all dance and swirl and swirl and dance. Enrapturing.
Instant class is unmistakeable on the palate. The Kalleske signature that creates an essence to the wine that borders opulence but never pushes to syrup.Exquisite Barossa flavours of deep red and black fruits, cherries, plums which ebb and flow back and forth with bittersweet Plaistow chocolate. Carries its weight regally across shoulders broader than the bottle can seemingly contain. This has to be up there with the newest Barossa benchmarks.
All wines samples courtesy of Kalleske Wines