Late last year we had a video crew here making a promotional video for screening on Jetstar flights. They had a drone buzzing around the estate which made for some great shots of the vineyard. Both Tim and Bryan contributed to the narrative. Have a look.
Some exciting news.
There is only one wine show we enter: the Canberra Regional Show.
Chairman of judges Mike Bennie and his crack judging team have awarded the 2015 Clonakilla Riesling a gold medal and four trophies:
Champion Wine of the Show, Best Canberra Riesling, Best Riesling and Best White.
In winning Best White, the Riesling only narrowly beat the 2015 Viognier Nouveau, which won a gold medal and the trophy for Best Dry White – Other Varieties and/or Blends.
Needless to say, since the news broke, our cellar door has been over-run with many of our local customers getting in on the action.
We love seeing our supporters at the cellar door of course, but you can buy them here and we’ll deliver them to your door.
It’s an exciting day for us as we announce the release of our Rare & Small Batch wines for 2015. These wines are keenly anticipated and they tend to sell out quickly. In short, if you are interested in these wines, don’t leave it too long!
Here is what we have to offer you this year:
2013 is one of the great vintages. The days were warm and the nights cool. Perfect conditions for the grapes to develop great colour, dramatic aromas and profound texture and flavour. This is as good a Murrumbateman Shiraz as we have ever made. “Deeply scented with heady aromas of blue and red flowers, raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants…spotlessly elegant and supremely balanced shiraz…96 points” Jeremy Oliver
2014 Pinot Noir
Strikingly aromatic with fragrant red berry fruit and that hard to describe Pinot character which sits in the tension between the two poles of sweet and savoury. Supple, silky tannin. More kiss than punch. “I reckon you’ve really nailed it this time.” Max Allen (limit of 4 bottles)
The days were warm and the nights were cool, making for great colour and fine tannin structure. The fruit characters are beautifully delineated. A blend of 42% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. “firm and ripe and sure to cellar well” 93+ points” Campbell Mattinson
A fortified Shiraz from the wonderful 2013 vintage. We made this from some of the ripest Shiraz that came into the winery. We stopped the fermentation with the addition of SVR spirit between 4 and 5 baume. Opulent to say the least. “…rich, dense, and smooth…eminently seductive…I kept wanting more and more. 92 points” Campbell Mattinson
There are beautifully defined fruit characters here, the low yields adding an intensity to the aroma with the cool Murrumbateman nights contributing the crisp natural acid. “This release is stunning…a wine of controlled intensity… it rolls as it rips. 95 points” Campbell Mattinson
2014 Tumbarumba Chardonnay
Restrained aromas, classically styled. Tight and bright through the palate with a taut, mineral acid backbone. A lipsmacking example from Tumbarumba. “Apple-like with melon, pear, grapefruit and spice notes…91+ points” Campbell Mattinson
Keep an eye out for the release of the 2013 Shiraz Viognier magnums and the 2015 Viognier Nouveau in a few weeks’ time.
Reviews for the 2013 Shiraz Viognier continue to be written – so many that we can’t fit them on our Shiraz Viognier page! We have also had a few new reviews of the 2014 Riesling. We thought we’d gather them here in one post for you.
2013 Shiraz Viognier
Supremely elegant, supple and willowy, this restrained and deeply layered red has a wild, heady perfume of pristine floral notes, brightly lit small red and black berries, cherries and plums tightly knit with sweet cedar/vanilla oak and backed by musky spices. It’s long and ethereal, with a pure, almost pastille-like presence of fruit underpinned by ultra-fine, dusty tannins and fresh new fine-grained oak, finishing with mouthwatering freshness. Perhaps more obviously new World than some recent vintages, and likely to build perfume, depth and structure in the bottle. 96 points. Jeremy Oliver The Australian Wine Annual 2015
Tim Kirk is one of the nicest men in the wine industry and, following in the footsteps of his father, Dr John Kirk, has pioneered the shiraz viognier blend in Australia. The wines have always been of outstanding quality, and eminently cellar worthy, but this would have to be one of the best over the past two decades. A blend of 95% shiraz co-fermented with 5% viognier it is gloriously fresh and vibrant with a fragrant nose leading to a palate that is like a ballet in your mouth; all subtle changes of direction, silky softness and fine tannins with an understated muscularity. From a very fine Canberra region vintage, this is a triumph and would make a wonderful present for anyone who loves wines of style and subtlety. 98 points if I scored. Winsor Dobbin
Medium to full red/purple colour, light for shiraz. But the aromas are superb: very fragrant and lifted, clean and pure, with lovely fine texture and seamless balance. The tannins are smooth and fine-grained, gentle and caressing rather than grippy. A delicious wine and extraordinarily complex for such a young shiraz. The finish and aftertaste linger very long. A beautiful and utterly amazing young wine. It has a long, bright future. Huon Hooke
There have been many Clonakilla Shiraz Viogniers that have been acclaimed for their striking elegance and compelling drinking, but 2013 is surely a cut above. Tim Kirk is often excited about his wines, but his enthusiasm for ’13 is palpable. It’s a wine of exotic, potent fragrance, red fruits and spice with a core of brooding, graphite-like minerality. The texture is appropriately svelte and the finish incredibly long with supreme balance and poise. Mike Bennie Dec/Jan Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine
Pristine, brightly lit and perfectly clear, this restrained but deeply flavoured riesling has a zesty, racy bouquet of lime and lemon pith lifted by fresh floral notes and backed by chalky nuances. It’s long and restrained, with perfectly focused, crystal-clear citrusy flavours extending over a fine dustiness towards a long and tangy finish of bright lime juice acids. It finishes with a pleasing balance and lingering suggestions of delicate dried herbs and lemongrass. 93 points. Jeremy Oliver The Australian Wine Annual 2015
Winemaker Tim Kirk says an October 2013 frost wiped out much of Clonakilla’s riesling, located on low-lying land. Kirk, however, topped up his own small crop with fruit from the Parker family’s nearby Long Rail Gully vineyard and a few other sources, including Phil Williams’s vineyard at Hall. The resulting wine shows appealing floral and citrus-like aroma with a powerful, though delicate, palate, [with] a very small amount of residual sugar. The sugar fattens the wine without adding detectable sweetness. Four stars. Chris Shanahan – The Canberra Times
And to finish, an excerpt from Mike Bennie’s excellent article on the Canberra Region in the Dec/Jan edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine:
‘There’s a welcoming feel to the rustic cellar door where Tim Kirk is often present to pour wines. Of course, shiraz viognier is the wine that sets the pace, but there are now a host of expressions that line up behind the imperial standard bearer including the gravelly, deeply savoury O’Riada Shiraz, one of Australia’s finest, mineral-laden and refreshing viogniers and a riesling that sets a cracking pace for its vitality, tension and impossible length of citrus-driven flavour.’
“It’s that beautiful rose petal, red berry, ripe plum, cherry perfume which makes this wine such a sensation thing to smell…and taste!”, declares Tim.
The entire Clonakilla team is thrilled to be able to release such a stunning version of our Shiraz Viognier. This has been the most anticipated release of the SV since the exceptional 2009. Hear what Tim has to say about this wine: