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2018 Kalleske Fordson Zinfandel


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In 1853, the Kalleske vineyard and farm was established at Greenock in the Barossa’s North-West.  For 97 years horses were used to work the vineyard and land.  This changed in 1950 when a new type of horse-power arrived on the property, a ‘Fordson’ Major tractor.  The Fordson soon became a valuable and integral part of vineyard and farm activities.  Fordson Zinfandel (a.k.a. Primitivo) is a single vineyard wine that’s been grown, vintaged and matured on the Kalleske property.  Vigilant grapegrowing combined with traditional winemaking and maturation in seasoned French and American oak hogsheads has resulted in a flavoursome varietal Zinfandel  displaying classic structure and richness typical of the Kalleske vineyard.

Growing Season

The 2018 vintage was superb.  Winter was slightly wetter than average getting the vines off to a brilliant start leading them into Spring which was warmer and drier than average.  Rain in early December refreshed the vines and ensured they remained strong and healthy for the overall dry and hot Summer.  Autumn also remained dry with perfect Autumnal temperatures leading into harvest.  The 2018 yields are good and the quality is excellent, a classic Barossa vintage.        


Fordson is a single vineyard Zinfandel from the Kalleske property.  The hand-pruned vines are low-yielding and are grown in shallow, sandy loam soil over superb deep red clay.


The grapes were harvested on April 19th and pressed seven days later on April 26th, with pumpovers employed twice daily whilst on skins.  Following pressing the wine was matured in seasoned hogsheads for twelve months prior to bottling.    

Tasting Notes

2018 Fordson Zinfandel is deep red-purple in colour.

Ascending from the glass are varietal aromatics of blackberry jam, musk, sweet spice, heritage rose and black olive.

The palate is juicy but rich.  It’s medium to full bodied displaying ripe berry fruits complimented with subtle mocha-oak and sarsaparilla.  Tannins are soft adding a silky texture throughout.  It’s stylish, very drinkable and has a long finish.  Approachable and fruit forward, Fordson Zinfandel can be enjoyed now or over the next five years.


93 Points
‘Seldom seen in Australia, Zin has the capacity for ripeness and power albeit, the disparate nature of ripening within grape clusters ensures a sweet : sour freshness. Well suited to the vanillas of American oak, this is a suave operator. satsuma plum, raspberry, candied orange zest, bramble and peppery, herbal tannins assuage the richness of the wine. The oak, too, helps corral the billowing flavours. Delicious! A fine example, best on the cool side.’
Ned Goodwin, Halliday Wine Companion, August 2019

Editor Kalleske