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Kalleske Pirathon Shiraz 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The vineyard is managed by Troy's father, fifth generation grapegrower, John Kalleske, who has over forty years experience tending the vineyard. The 100 acre vineyard is planted to Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Chenin Blanc. Vines vary in age with the oldest vineyard dating back to 1875 and an overall average vine age of about 50 years. The vineyard is low yielding and all grapes are grown organically.
There are five wines in the Kalleske range. Clarry’s Barossa White is a blend of Semillon and Chenin Blanc and its partner Clarry’s Barossa Red is a Grenache Shiraz blend. The Greenock Shiraz is a single vineyard wine, made from a superb Shiraz block on the Western edge of the Greenock Creek. The Old Vine Grenache is from a small dry-grown vineyard planted as bush vines on the Kalleske farm in 1935 and the Johann Georg Shiraz is made from a dry-grown vineyard planted on the farm in 1875.
All wines are estate grown and vinified with minimalistic winemaking techniques used to fully capture the essence of the vineyard allowing genuine hand made estate wines to be produced.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.
Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.
In the Glass
At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.
Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.