Kalleske Plenarius Viognier 2015

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  • Certified Organic
  • Certified Biodynamic
  • Vegan Suitable
  • No Added Preservative (Preservative Free)
  • Wild (Natural) Yeast Fermentation


Winery/Brand: Kalleske


Straight away you know you’re in for something completely different, the colour is instantly perplexing. Dark coppery orange to heavy straw, the wine has a duality that looks both intimidating but captivating at the same time. You can smell this colossus as you are picking up the glass. There are fragrances of orange peel and it’s bursting with citrus and mandarin, followed closely by tinned apricots and lots of them. Giving it a splash of air some background notes start to emerge including lemongrass, lychee and even cloves come forward. There’s also a slight hoppiness to it reminiscent of a fancy craft beer. Take a sip and you’re surprised again, the nose alludes to this being sweet, but it’s dry as a bone. There is the big unctuous texture which Viognier is known for, followed immediately by the grip and tannin that time on skins gives. The nose doesn’t say skin contact, but the colour and palate certainly do. Delicious now, this wine doesn’t need to be held onto for too long, but it has plenty going for it that could give it potential to cellar and evolve over quite some years. Only time will tell.

Ingredients: 100% certified biodynamic grapes. single vineyard viognier grapes wild fermented on skins for 7 days. matured in hogsheads for 10 months. bottled unfined & unfiltered. naturally cloudy. naturally amber in colour. no added sulphites.



The Story

“ORANGE WINES”: Currently all the rage in the repertoire of trendsetting sommeliers, an "orange wine" is one that is made more like a red wine. The grapes are crushed and left on the skins for an extended period. Normally white wines are crushed and separated from the skin straight away. So the grapes ferment in contact with the skins and seeds, extracting colour and tannin into the juice. Often this fermentation takes place in clay vessels (amphorae) or wooden barrels, a relic of ancient winemaking. The resulting colour can range from bright amber to a tawny brown. They can also be quite cloudy. The flavours can be rich and honeyed with some funky nuances. Also a nuttiness reminiscent of sherry can be present. They possess a texture and body similar to red wines, balanced with a minerality & fruit of white wines.

PLENARIUS DEFINITION (from the label): full; complete; entire; absolute “Nothing added; nothing taken away” ingredients: 100% certified biodynamic grapes.


GROWING SEASON: Vintage 2015 produced excellent wines. It began with a wet Winter followed by a very dry growing season with less than half the average rainfall. Spring was warmer than average leading to an earlier budburst and early vintage. Summer brought average temperatures, ensuring the dry conditions were not stressful to the vines, and a slow even ripening ensued. Quality is brilliant, certainly one of the highlights in recent years.

VINEYARD: Plenarius is from a single vineyard of Viognier on the Kalleske property at Moppa. The vines are low yielding and soil is shallow sand with clay subsoil.

WINEMAKING: The grapes were harvested in the cool of the night on February 16th. They were then destemmed to an open top fermenter. It was treated like a red wine with hand pumpovers morning and night to circulate the fermenting juice through the skins extracting flavour and subtle tannin. The must was entirely wild fermented with absolutely no additions. The wine was on skins for 7 days with ferment temperatures ranging from 17 to 31 degrees Celsius. At dryness the must was drained and the wine was filled to seasoned French oak hogsheads. It underwent natural malolactic fermentation in barrel and was matured for 8 months on lees prior to racking for bottling with zero additions, bottling as 100% grapes.

TOP DROPS OF THE MONTH “Most of the trendy cloudy orange wines out there are quite pricey. This gorgeous, mandarin-syrupy, spicy fragrant, dry-finishing orange Viognier (biodynamic grapes, skins fermented, no additions) isn’t” Max Allen, Gourmet Traveller Wine, May 2013

92 POINTS “Kalleske has been a forerunner in growing grapes organically and biodynamically, and with both processes essential to the natural wine movement, it’s a good fit... If you’ve not tasted a natural wine, this promises a whole new wine experience. It’s a wild thing“. James Halliday’s Wine Companion June/July 2013

The Specs

Wine TypeWhite
RegionBarossa, SA
Alcohol %13.5
Certified OrganicYes
Certified BiodynamicYes
No Added PreservativeYes
Vegan SuitableYes
Wild Yeast FermentationYes
Natural WineYes
PackagingGlass Bottle