This really should have 2010 as the vintage date, as that’s when the trees were felled for coopering for these 3 unique wines. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Kalleske family in the Barossa Valley make very bloody good wine according to biodynamic principles, and in 2010, their cooper: Tonnellerie Bordelaise, invited them to be first in Australia to use barrels from a new project – to harvest the oak based on biodynamic and moon cycle principles of Flower, Fruit and Root. So trees in the Chateauroux forest were felled and the staves for the barrels split on corresponding cycles. The coopering and toasting also followed suit.
The grapes were harvested on March 4th 2013, and wine making for all 3 Cycle Barrels was exactly the same. Once primary fermentation was reached in open fermenters, they were pressed off their skins, settled and racked into their designated barrel. The wines underwent MLF in barrel and matured for 19 months. In October 2014, each barrel was “solely racked for bottling, ensuring the individuality of each barrel type was maintained.”
The labels are representations of the Zodiac alignment to their element and biodynamic cycle:
|Earth||Root||Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn|
|Water||Leaf||Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces|
|Air||Flower||Gemini, Libra, Aquarius|
|Fire||Fruit||Aries, Leo, Sagittarius|
The wines were tasted over different days on the biodynamic calendar to see if they sang louder or turned sour, as anecdotally they would do.
The three wines are sold as a trio in a wonderful textured presentation box with accompanying notes about the entire project. With only 400 3 packs made, they’re a unique investment. One that is under priced considering the extent of the project. Available from the Kalleske cellar door and website
Kalleske, Biodynamic Barrel Project, “Fruit” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2013
First tasting: Flower Day. Flinty and mineral. Sweetish baked pastries with juicy black plums and blackberries. Palate has the most prevalent sandy tannins of all three, with a hint of mint and spice. Well composed.
Second tasting: Leaf Day. More reticent sweet dark fruit, and that mint is defiantly present. Milk chocolate and nutty oak fill out the experience.
Kalleske, Biodynamic Barrel Project, “Flower” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2013
First tasting: Flower Day. Lifted raspberry jus, plum flesh, silky and spiced. Easy on the palate, with softer, fleshier tannins that interrupt the ripe fruits. Seems playful and happy to just be.
Second tasting: Leaf Day. The jus has turned to flowers and the plum flesh to skin. There’s still a good balance between the fruit and the tannin, but this seems a little finer bodied than its barrel cousins.
Kalleske, Biodynamic Barrel Project, “Root” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2013
First tasting: Flower Day. Roast beetroot, earth, mud cake, black fruits, warm mulch, graphite. Square sheets of tannin overlap plumy dark fruits. Chocolately oak seems dominant over sour fruits. A little hard going.
Second tasting: Leaf Day. Still dark fruited with that earthy/sweet beetroot, tobacco, ash, mint and dark plums. All still bound up in that tannin, like little wonton parcels hemmed in. Seems the most grumpy of the wines, will probably live to be a crotchety old man.
RRP: $150 (for all 3 wines)
Alc: 14.5% (for all 3 wines)
Wine samples courtesy of Kalleske Wines