2017 Shiraz Viognier release

We are thrilled to tell you that for the third time the Shiraz Viognier has been confirmed as Exceptional, one of Australia’s greatest wines, in Langtons Classification VII.

The 2017 continues the long line of beautiful vintages that has established the lofty status of our flagship wine. The reviews are amazing:

One of the greatest vintages of this wine. It has a super complex array of white and black peppers, hard brown spices, leaves, flowers and fresh wet earth, as well as graphite-like dark stony notes.

The palate is immaculately detailed, long and silky with flavours of blackberries, red cherries, red plums, dark cherries and dark chocolate. The palate is delivered with steady elegance and power, showing unwavering build and a seemingly never-ending trail of fresh and spicy fruit flavours. With the most immaculate tannins, too.

The real soul of this wine shines through in this perfectly simpatico vintage. Fascinating to drink now, but it is best to give it some time. Try around 2025. 98/100 – Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com

A gloriously fragrant and elegant Clonakilla is the blessing of a classic cool year, brimming with rose petal and pot pourri. A delightful core of morello cherry and wild strawberry fruit glides seamlessly through a lingering trail of powder-fine tannins. It’s set to go down as a long-lived Clonakilla. Drink 2022-2037 – 96/100 – Tyson Stelzer

Australian Grand Cru Shiraz. It has both lightness and power; it has wooden racks of spice set into deep cupboards of black cherry; it has anise; it has forest berries, it has florals and it has meat, though all of it sits in the one, neat, tidy room.

Tannin is so fine and so bright with spice that it sits like gold thread in an evening gown. It’s a wine of shadows and a wine of light; of shadow and of joy. Pour a glass and behold its beauty, for it is rich in that. 96/100 – Campbell Mattinson, Winefront

We are excited to be launching our new lay-down six-pack with this year’s release. The Shiraz Viognier comes in this beautiful box when you order in multiples of sixes.

Photographer

A wine of rare beauty

The 2016 Syrah is simply one of the greatest wines we have made.

Long time mailing list members will remember that the first Clonakilla Syrah we released was the 2006.

Our thinking was to have a second great wine that could challenge Hermitage in the Northern Rhone in the same way the Shiraz Viognier now gives good Cote Rotie a run for its money.

The Syrah always comes from the same parcel of vines on our vineyard, a wedge of North East facing vines perfectly positioned to catch the warmth of the sun for most of the day. The warm aspect means the Syrah often carries a darker, more brooding signature than the Shiraz Viognier.

The way we make the wine differs too. We leave out the 20-30% whole bunch addition that is standard in our SV ferments and of course for the Syrah we add no Viognier for co-fermentation. It is simply pure Shiraz grapes, destemmed but not crushed, fermented by their own natural yeasts, left for a full months on skins and then two years in 500 litre fine-grained French oak barrels.

Here is what Huon Hooke had to say about the 2016:

This is a wine of rare beauty. The colour is bright but not dark, and the aroma is spicy, vegetal, foresty and ultra-complex. Medium-bodied, intense and superbly textured, it has soft, gentle tannins and great elegance. Its appeal grows with every sip. It has an effortless natural charm.
Score: 97 ★★★★★

2018 Small Batch release

We’re thrilled to unveil our new Small Batch wines for 2018.

2017 Chardonnay
There is the distinctive Tumbarumba grapefruit signature framed by those complex barrel ferment and lees derived nuances that are hard to describe (“funk” is the description du jour). I’m really happy with this. The lip-smacking acid in particular has me reaching for the second (and third) glass.

2017 Pinot Noir
Little by little, through careful work in the vineyard and winery, we’re building layers of complexity into this wine. 2017 was a touch cooler than the two preceding vintages and there is a gorgeous elegance here. Subtle flashes of floral and red berry aroma shine through a background of leaf litter and Indian spices. Silky tannins too.

2017 Ceoltoiri
A joyful wine. Vibrant red fruit with a twist of leather. Just delicious. It’s the ripest Ceoltoiri we have released at 14.5% alcohol but there’s nothing aggressive about it. The bottle disappears with amazing speed. (You’ll need a case…)

2016 Syrah
Whole Shiraz berries (no whole bunches) from the top half of our T&L Block One. A month on skins and then two years in tight grained French puncheons (larger, 500 Litre barrels). This is a wine of power and purpose.

It captures the haunting rose petal aromas – the calling card of fine Murrumbateman Shiraz – and girds them with a belt of rich, dark fruit that drives the authority home. This will live and grow for many years in the cellar if you have the patience to wait. Our first vintage, the 2006, looks utterly stunning today.

‘… exceedingly complex and charming. A wine of real beauty’ – Huon Hooke.

We’ll have these wines on tasting for a short time at the cellar door if you’re in the area. Order online today and avoid the disappointment of missing out!

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

2016 O’Riada Shiraz released

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2016 O’Riada Shiraz.

The O’Riada is made from fruit picked from our estate vineyard and other excellent sites in Murrumbateman and Hall. It’s a quintessential Canberra Shiraz. Ripe red berries and plenty of spice.

“The definition here is impressive, smooth and ebulliently ripe red berry and plum fruits with pastry-like nuances and gently spicy waves. Rich. Effortless appeal and flows smoothly along on ripe, detailed tannins. Great balance. Drink now to 2028” – Nick Stock

We’re thrilled that for the second year in a row the Shiraz Viognier made James Halliday’s 2017 Top 100 list.

“The perfumed, spicy bouquet with red flowers and fruits doesn’t prepare you for the intensity and piercing length of its beautifully balanced, medium-bodied palate. This is a truly glorious wine that draws you back again and again to explore the wealth of red fruit flavours and the majesty of its texture and structure.”

Just in time for summer the 2017 Viognier Nouveau is now out.

“…It’s elegant, slippery, touched by spice, just-ripe, refreshing. Light, almost stony…” – Campbell Mattinson

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