Rare & Small Batch Release

This is a great day on the Clonakilla calendar. We get to release our edgier rare and small batch wines to you, our devoted Clonakilla family.

2015 and 2016 were both cracking vintages so we had no excuses to produce anything below par.

I’m confident you are going to very happy with these wines. My only regret is that we have no Tumbarumba Chardonnay to offer you this year due to a severe frost that wiped out the fruit from our grower Steve Morrison at Revee Estate. (The 2017, now finishing it’s ferment in barrel, looks terrific)

2016 Viognier
Classically rich from a warmer year, it retains its signature balance of opulence and restraint.

2016 Pinot Noir
Just delicious with abundant red berry fruit and a wild, savoury edge.

2016 Ceoltoiri
Not too heavy, not too light, just eminently drinkable. Something new and exciting has been discovered in Murrumbateman.

2015 Ballinderry
A blend of the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Two years in oak. A powerful wine and a great example of the style.

2015 Syrah
This wine: ‘very aromatic …elegant, poised & stately.. abundant fine tannins… lovely balance. 98 points’ – Huon Hooke
Just buy it…

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

New year releases: 2015 O’Riada & 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Happy New Year!

The release of the 2015 Shiraz Viognier last September took place amidst strong international demand and a flurry of amazing reviews.

We are delighted to be releasing its little brother, the 2015 O’Riada Shiraz. This wine shows all that is great about the 2015 vintage in Canberra and presents it at a price point that makes it a must buy for sure!

“Brilliant wine..very attractive and exuberant.” – Nick Stock

“It’s a pearl…combines elegance and power.” – Campbell Mattinson

We have also just released the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. Vibrant, fresh fruit characters and a zesty, crisp palate. Perfect for summer drinking.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

Spring releases – two benchmark wines

Is this the most highly anticipated release we have ever had? The volume of calls we have taken and emails we have received have been phenomenal. Well today is the day….the 2015 Shiraz Viognier and 2016 Riesling are now available for purchase.

2015 Shiraz Viognier
As seasons go, I’m not sure you can get better conditions than we had in 2015. There was higher than average rainfall in December and January. By late January things warmed and dried and the miracle began to unfold: Day after day of mid to high 20s, cool nights, light breezes, a steady, warm glow in the vineyard with no pressure from excessive heat, rain or wind. Ripening proceeded like a dream.

There is more of everything in the 2015. Intensely aromatic with a mysterious energy pulsing through the palate. Insistent and persistent. A grand cru if ever we have made one.

The critics agree:

“It is a thinker’s wine, it stops you, draws you in and captivates. Incredibly detailed and floral-scented, the sumptuous and finely poised palate is a masterpiece.” – James Halliday

“2015 is without a doubt the best to date in a long line of excellent vintages. And whilst the name and the vines may be comparatively newer, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is now every bit as important to the story of great Australian wine as Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange.”

“This is a rare beauty, to see a syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way. 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. 99″ – Nick Stock

“I’m taken. Gorgeous, silky texture, a symphony of character in fragrance, game meats, herbs, red berries, clove, sweet spice. The palate is incredible – supple, pliant, long, satiny yet etched with the finest tat-work of lacy tannin. It’s savoury, fruit driven, pure-feeling but lifted on fine spicy oak and glossy acidity. In essence, it drinks utterly superbly. It’s next level. It’s a new classic for Clonakilla. Glory be. 97″ – Mike Bennie

With so much attention on the Shiraz Viognier, the 2016 Riesling simply won’t get the attention it deserves. Don’t miss it. It’s a cracker!

Effortless drinking here, with a high quality feel. Zips along on piercing acidity that drills a zingy hole through the juicy, cool, limey fruit character found in the wine. Aromas are floral, citrussy, lime and kaffir lime leaf, ginger scented, faintly yeasty. Pretty as. Fresh, flirty, then finishes with fine, chalk-meets-crushed-slate vibe.” – Mike Bennie

Look out for the notification of the 2016 Clonakilla Dinner Series in a couple of weeks time. This year we will be partnering with our friends from the wonderful Ogier winery in Cote Rotie.

2015 Hilltops Shiraz – now available!

As seasons go, I’m not sure you can you get better conditions than we had in 2015.

There was higher than average rainfall in December and January. By late January things warmed and dried and the miracle began to unfold: Day after day of mid to high 20s, cool nights, light breezes (no hot northerly blasts), a steady, warm glow in the vineyard with no pressure from excessive heat, rain or wind. Ripening proceeded like a dream.

The Hilltops is the first of the 2015 reds to hit the market. It is a beautiful wine, at least as good as the majestic 2013 vintage, with a steady pulse of rich, dark fruit and perfect tannin structure.

“Hilltops shiraz at its most elegant. Yes. This is good. Complete. Spicy, well-fruited, taut but expressive…you can’t go wrong here.” – Campbell Mattinson

“Easily one of the best editions of this consistently good wine, this has an extra dimension of fruit flavour and richness, plus loads of blackberry and spice. Superb.” – Nick Stock

The 2015 Shiraz Viognier will be out as usual on September 1. Mark the date! The reviews so far have been stratospheric. Here’s a teaser for you:

‘The latest vintage, 2015, is without a doubt the best to date in a long line of excellent vintages…Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is now every bit as important to the story of great Australian wine as Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange.’ – Nick Stock

Look out for the release email on September 1.

What a year!

2015 has been quite a year at Clonakilla.

We were pretty excited when our 2015 Riesling won four trophies at the Canberra Regional Wine Show, including White Wine of the Show and Wine of the Show. Even more exciting for us was the fact that the wine the Riesling pipped at the post to win White Wine of the Show was the 2015 Viognier Nouveau which had already won the trophy for Best Dry White – Other Varieties and/or Blends.

2015 was generous in yield as well as fantastic quality, so it was just as well we got our winery extensions finished in time for vintage (only just!)

We will be releasing a swag of 2015s through the course of next year. You will have to come and taste them at our new cellar door when it opens. We’re shooting for March at this stage. Fingers crossed… For now however, check out the Clonakilla wall (photo below) that will be the first thing you see as you drive up to the winery.

In international news, Clonakilla seems to be making quite an impact in the UK. Decanter magazine included a five page spread on Clonakilla in their August edition, written by the brilliant Huon Hooke. Jancis Robinson was so kind as to nominate the Hilltops Shiraz as her wine of the week back in early October. She loved the SV as well of course. Read all about it.

Then in the Christmas edition of Decanter we made it on to the front cover as one of the ‘50 Star Buys of 2015’. For the record, the Shiraz Viognier came in at number 2.

A new release for you just in time for Christmas. The 2014 O’Riada Shiraz.
We like to think of the O’Riada as classic Canberra District Shiraz. It is a perfect wine to introduce people to this exciting new style Aus Shiraz.

The critics have given it a big thumbs up:

“This has class stamped all over it…a sparkling river of dark fruits that run from the tip of the tongue through to the elegant, but oh so complex, finish and aftertaste. Exhilarating.” – James Halliday

“Canberra region magic. Black pepper, dark fruit, lavender, exotic spice… with superfine texture and superb tannin balance.” – Ralph Kyte-Powell

“The bouquet is complex and spicy… supple and savoury, gentle in mouth-feel and finely balanced, with a long and satisfying aftertaste.” – Huon Hooke

Please note that we will cease shipping on Thursday the 17th of December and will resume on the 4th of January. Also, the cellar door will be closed December 24-27, 31 & January 1.

With kind regards to you and your family in this Christmas season,

Tim Kirk

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