Organic wines. There’s been a LOT about them lately. But this is one that you should definitely keep reading about. The previous 2011 release of this wine was named the International Biodynamic Wine of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in the UK. And this 2012 vintage is shaping up to be a worthy rival.
Clarry’s is produced by the Kalleske family in the Barossa Valley, who have been growing grapes on their piece of South Australian paradise since the 1800s. That’s a long time. But what’s even more amazing is that they’ve always managed their farms and vineyards organically. Yep, there’s nought been the hint of a spray or a nasty toxin since the vines were first planted all those years ago.
The Clarry GSM is actually one step further along the organic wine spectrum, being Australian Certified Biodynamic. And yet, you won’t find the Kalleske family donning a kaftan and hollering this from the rooftops. They are passionate about their organic and biodynamic methods, but want the wine to speak for itself. They believe, like many others, that organic methods actually produce better flavoured wines. And it’s not the method that should be celebrated, but the result.
Clarry’s is also a jen-yu-wine (sorry, couldn’t resist the accent laden phonetic spelling there…read: genuine) estate wine – which means it was grown, made and matured on the estate (in this case, at the charmingly named ‘Greenock’). It’s named in honour of winemaker Troy Kalleske’s Grandfather, Clarence “Clarry” Kalleske, who farmed the Kalleske vineyards from the late 1920s until his retirement in the 1990s. (Now, THAT’S career longevity.)
In the deep, dark forest of natural and organic wines hitting the market, Kalleske’s Clarry – which in 2012 is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro – is a potential king of the jungle.
The deep purple-red colour is lovingly inviting, and from the first sip you’re away. Fresh, racy and juicy, with very light tannins that give it lovely structure, this is a rich Barossa red without all the testosterone. It’s much more refined, but still retains the heavenly berries, spice, earthiness and clarity of flavours. The famous Barossa soils have whispered themselves into the bottle, rather than shouted.
Look out for this Lion. It’s success lies in it’s quiet strength, stealth and beauty. Not (refreshingly) rambunctious shows of power.
Wild mushroom risotto.
Price: Incredible value at $19.00 a bottle
Rating: 4/5 A great wine
Available from: www.kalleske.com.au