Biodynamics is a fundamental part of our philosophy, it was a natural extension for us to explore the use of biodynamic barrels, so that is what we did when the French Cooper, Tonnellerie Bordelaise, invited us to be the first in Australia to use their Biodynamic barrels. In 2010, Tonnellerie Bordelaise started a new project – to harvest wood based on existing biodynamic/moon cycle principles. Small lots in the Chateauroux and Loches forest were harvested on specific days (flower/fruit/root days). After a few months the staves were split on corresponding days. Then manufacture and toasting occurred on the same moon cycle as harvesting and splitting.
So, the thinking behind the biodynamic barrel project is that depending on when each oak tree was harvested, the wood is likely to have slightly different characteristics. When exactly the same wine is matured in those barrels, the differences in oak wood should reflect in the wine, giving subtly different characteristics to the wine. Based on this well established knowledge we are ardent to present three wines exploring the nuances of certain oak tree harvest and barrel coopering days and their effects on wine. We found real differences in the aroma and palate of each wine, but we invite you to judge for yourself.
PLEASE NOTE – WINE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY FROM NOVEMBER
The grapes for this biodynamic barrel project were from the renowned Greenock vineyard block. The vineyard consists of shallow, sandy loam soil over superb deep red clay and limestone, providing ideal conditions for Shiraz vines Wine from the Greenock vineyard is rich and solid and combines well with new French oak, allowing expression and harmony of both fruit and barrel.
Vintage 2016 was hot and dry resulting in grapes ripening earlier than average. Winter and Spring rainfall was down by 38% whilst growing season temperatures were up by 3 degrees. Some welcome rain came at the end of January refreshing the vines and giving them good moisture to ripen to maturity. Yields from 2016 are solid and importantly quality is stunning. 2016 is certainly a star vintage with bright intense wines of great flavour intensity and inherent balance.
The grapes were picked on March 2nd 2016. After picking, the grapes were destemmed into an open top fermenter. During fermentation, hand pumpovers were employed twice a day for 8 days on skins prior to pressing. To respect the fruit and typicity of the vineyard, as with all our Kalleske wines, native yeast conducted the fermentation and no enzymes or tannins were added. After pressing off skins the wine was settled in tank prior to filling on March 24th to the new Tonnellerie Bordelaise hogsheads (300L), each a different type, being flower, fruit and root barrel respectively. The wines underwent natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. On completion of malolactic fermentation, each barrel was racked separately prior to returning the wine to its original barrel. The wine was matured in barrel for 21 months. In December 2017, each barrel was solely racked for bottling, ensuring the individuality of each barrel type was maintained.
In the following pages there are detailed tasting notes on each of the three wines from the specific barrel types. These wines were tasted on numerous occasions by several individuals and importantly each time they were tasted blind. This ensured the consolidated notes are honest and authentic.
Bright, lifted, vivid. Aromatics of clove spice, violets, anise and potpourri florals. This evolves to fresh cut hay along with some cedary oak.
Initially elegant and slightly reserved opening to several layers of flavour and complexity. There are bright red fruits supported with ultra-fine tannins adding exquisite poise and structure. It is full-flavoured with the juicy fruits complimented by subtle but evident oak in the background. It is lengthy to finish with lingering purity. Overall a well poised, finely structured and flavoursome but elegant wine.
Intense, complex and very inviting. There is a torrent of aromatics including blackberry, fruit cake, ginger spice, raisin and black plum. Trailing the fruit is dusty oak.
Rich, plush and full-bodied. This is a very generous wine, very mouth-filling. Dark fruits lead followed by prominent but integrated oak. There are intense tannins but they have a round edge adding volume and structure without excessive astringency. This is a very well balanced wine that is extremely long to finish. Overall a full-bodied, fruit driven wine with generous flavours.
Deep rich red.
Initial greetings of cedary, slightly charred oak leading to dried fruits. There is some dark plum as well as ripe beets, all-spice and a touch of garden earth.
A strong wine showing intense power, although somewhat angular in its presentation. There are some black fruits, together with toasty oak. Tannins are prominent with a slightly jagged edge. Smoky roast meats are also evident. The finish is reasonably long with dry chewy tannins dominating. This is a curious and somewhat provocative wine with substantial potential but will need time to integrate and mellow.