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.
Quality from 2019 is stunning. It was a warm and extremely dry growing season with rainfall down significantly (39%), making it one of the driest years in the past century. Summer was 3 degrees warmer than average. Yields were impacted by the dry season, leading to smaller berries and bunches. Importantly quality is brilliant producing richly flavoured, intense wines.
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 three lots on March 11th, March 22nd and April 8th. Following destemming into open-top fermenters, the must was fermented for 9-10 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.
2019 Merchant Cabernet is deep red-purple in colour.
Aromatics are pronounced and include black cherry, raspberry and violet together with mixed spice and a hint of dark chocolate.
The palate is medium-full bodied with underlying elegance. It’s richly flavoured, intense and focused. Ripe berry fruits dominate together with a touch of cedar oak. Fine-grained tannins provide structure and backbone to this well balanced and seamless wine which finishes very long. Merchant is a classic Barossa Cabernet that can be equally enjoyed now or in a decade.