Since the early 1900s, the ‘dodger’ has been indispensable in the vineyard. The vine dodger is a mechanical weeder that removes weeds from around the vines whilst dodging the vines themselves. In the early years the dodger was pulled by a horse and steered by hand and then in the 1960s the horse was replaced by a tractor. Fundamentally the dodger hasn’t changed much and today it is still used to naturally control the weeds in our vineyards.
Dodger Tempranillo is a single vineyard wine that’s been grown, vintaged and matured on our Kalleske property. Vigilant grape growing, traditional winemaking and maturation in seasoned French oak hogsheads has resulted in a sophisticated, medium bodied Tempranillo displaying classic structure and varietal expression typical of our Kalleske vineyard.
The 2022 vintage was excellent. Winter was significantly wetter than average getting the vines off to a brilliant start leading into Spring which was cool with median rainfall. Summer was mild and dry apart from rain on the last day. Autumn remained mild with generally perfect mid-20s weather combined with cool nights ensuring steady even ripening across all varieties. The 2022 yields were good and the quality is great, a classic Barossa vintage displaying rich flavours with fine balance.
The single-vineyard Dodger Tempranillo block is the newest variety on the Kalleske property. The hand-pruned vines are low-yielding and are grown in sandy loam soil with quartz and ironstone over deep red clay.
The grapes were picked on March 25th 2022 and then destemmed into a small open top fermenter. The must was wild-fermented for 13 days with skins submerged for the entire time. After pressing off skins the Tempranillo was filled to seasoned French oak hogsheads where it underwent natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Dodger was matured in barrel for 1 year prior to bottling.
2022 Dodger Tempranillo is deep ruby-red in colour.
The lifted aromatics display classic varietal complexity of sweet and savoury notes including nutmeg spice, dried fruit peel, leather, earth, blackcurrant and almond.
The medium-bodied palate is richly flavoured. Wild dark fruits abound and are framed by an initial plush texture evolving to display dusty tannins and crunchy acidity. There is an intriguing rusticity throughout and a long lingering finish completes a varietally true Tempranillo.
Dodger can be enjoyed now or over the next eight years.