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.
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.
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 March 26th and pressed eleven days later, with pumpovers employed twice daily whilst on skins. Following pressing the wine was matured in seasoned hogsheads for twelve months prior to bottling.
2020 Fordson Zinfandel is dark magenta-red in colour.
It is expressly fragrant with emanations of raspberry jam, sweet cloves, flowers, red liquorice, stewed rhubarb, vintage fortified and a hint of wintergreen.
The palate is richly flavoured with generous juicy blue fruits dominating. It is full-bodied with an opulent plushness throughout. Tannins are mildly evident at the end relieving the lavish fruit. Seasoned barrel maturation gently adds character whilst leaving the powerful varietal fruit in command. The finish is very long, completing a beautiful wine. Approachable and fruit forward, Fordson Zinfandel can be enjoyed now or over the next five years.