The Kalleske vineyard and farm was established at Greenock in the Barossa’s North-West in 1853. For more than a century, the horse drawn ‘buckboard’ was indispensible on the farm. The buckboard buggy transported not only people but hauled produce and supplies to and from the farm, including countless loads of grapes. In the mid 1900s the horse was replaced with a motor and then the buckboard further evolved into a flat bed truck and eventually to the modern ute. Buckboard Durif is a single vineyard wine that’s been grown, vintaged and matured on the Kalleske property. Vigilant grapegrowing, traditional winemaking and maturation in new and seasoned American oak hogsheads has resulted in a powerful, full-bodied wine of great flavour and intensity.
Vintage 2020 has delivered wines of amazing quality. However, quantity is very limited, with it being one of the lowest grape yields ever in the Barossa at around 50% of average. Yields were dire due to a combination of early mild frost conditions, then a notably windy period (45% windier) around flowering leading to poor set (not many berries) followed by some hot days in November and an overall dry growing season (34% down). Notably, quality is of the highest echelon with rich colours and intense robust flavours.
The 2020 Clarry’s is a blend of Grenache (39%), Shiraz (38%) and Mataro (23%), with grapes from over a dozen blocks, each with their diversity of soil type and vine age ensuring ultimate complexity in this blend. The oldest Grenache block dates to 1940 with remaining vines varying in age up to fifty years old. Vines are low yielding with soil generally consisting of shallow, sandy loam over superb deep red clay and limestone, providing ideal conditions for these varieties.
The Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro blocks were harvested from February 27th through to March 31st. All varieties were fermented separately in open top fermenters with hand pumpovers twice a day during fermentation. After seven to fourteen days on skins the fermented grapes were traditionally pressed. To preserve the superb fresh fruit flavours of the Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro, wines were only aged in very old oak hogsheads and only for a limited time of four months. On completion of maturation, components were blended for balanced flavour, texture and complexity.
2020 Clarry’s GSM is bright purple-red in colour.
Dazzling aromatics bound from the glass. Bright rose perfume is at the fore along with fresh raspberries, clove spice, musk and blueberries.
The palate is bright and juicy. Medium to full bodied, it is bountiful with vivid red and blue fruits. It’s plush and rounded with seamless fine tannins adding texture and structure. Succinct barrel maturation adds complexity whilst securing the fruit purity. A sherbet-esque character on the lengthy finish completes a beautifully formed wine. Clarry’s is an approachable, fruit-driven and opulent GSM that is best enjoyed now or over the next five years.