In 1838, merchant and miller, Johann Georg Kalleske migrated from Prussia, establishing a new life in South Australia. Today, seven generations later, descendant and fellow merchant and miller, Kym John Kalleske, farms our diverse Kalleske property established at Greenock in the North-Western Barossa in 1853. Continuing the family tradition, Kym is a miller of hay and a merchant of chaff, lamb and grapes. This Merchant Cabernet Sauvignon is a single vineyard wine that’s been hand pruned and harvested by Kym. Traditional winemaking and maturation in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads has ensured a full-bodied varietal Cabernet Sauvignon displaying classic structure and richness typical of the Kalleske vineyard.
Vintage 2017 was stunning. The vines got off to a fantastic start with a wetter than average Winter and mild Spring. Summer brought typically average warm conditions with some excellent rainfall, twice the average. This kept the vines in superb condition for steady ripening into Autumn which remained dry with warm sunny days and cool nights. Yields from 2017 are good and quality is exceptional.
Merchant Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a single vineyard that was planted on the Kalleske property at the end of last century. The hand-pruned vines are low-yielding and are grown in shallow, sandy loam soil over superb deep red clay, providing ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes were picked in two lots on April 23rd and April 26th. Following destemming into open-top fermenters, the must was fermented for 8-9 days on skins with hand pump-overs twice a day. After pressing off skins the Cabernet was filled to a mix of 30% new and the balance used French oak hogsheads, where the wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation. The Cabernet was matured in barrel for twelve months prior to bottling without fining or filtration.
2017 Merchant Cabernet Sauvignon is dark burgundy in colour.
The lifted aroma displays classic varietal Cabernet and classic regional Barossa. There is fragrant blackcurrant, tobacco, perfumed violet and a hint of toasted nuts.
The palate is full-bodied, rich and generous whilst maintaining ideal varietal Cabernet traits. The dark fruits are foremost, with classy cedary oak adding complexity. Tannins are visible but being entirely natural they are perfectly integrated and finely support the palate structure. The finish to this wine is very lengthy with engaging fruit and elegant tannins lingering. Overall this is a well-balanced, true-to-type Cabernet with full flavour and superb poise. Merchant is a classic Barossa Cabernet that can be equally enjoyed now or in a decade.