Kalleske is a family company based in the picturesque Moppa subregion of the Barossa Valley. It has been a major supplier to Penfolds, with its old vine grapes going into Penfolds Grange. As these vineyards have come out of contract during the last 10 years, Kalleske started to bottle ultra premium wines from these single vineyard sources. The Kalleske Johann Georg was the first, based on vines more than 130 years old.
It was therefore with considerable anticipation that I opened the 2006 Kalleske Johann Georg Shiraz. The wine is full-bodied, similar in style to Torbreck. It has a big mouthfeel of ripe plum. The wine is borderline in a number of ways: the alcohol is high and the grapes are very ripe. What saves the wine is the quality of these low yielding vines and the intensity of the fruit, but it takes away the nuances and complexity these grapes could have shown if they had been harvested earlier. The tannins are sweet and the wine has a long, but slightly alcoholic finish.
This was the time when the 'Big Barossa' still reigned supreme. The dry weather did not help. It will be interesting to see how the profile of this wine will develop from 2009 on-wards. It has great potential, but this was not realized in 2006.