Time Kirk - Winemaker Of The Year 2013

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.

Spring Releases now available

Welcome to the first day of Spring – new vintage release day at Clonakilla.

We are delighted to be able to share with you our 2015 Riesling, 2014 Hilltops Shiraz and the majestic 2014 Shiraz Viognier.

The 2014 Shiraz Viognier is a perfect follow up to the stellar 2013. It’s fragrant and intense, from a season that had everything.

‘Rose petals and more rose petals – fragrant dark cherry too. The palate is so opulent and supple, with almost unbelievable length and finesse.’ ★★★★★- Lester Jesberg – Winewise

‘… modern classic, setting the bar for the co-fermented blend…96 points – Halliday Wine Companion 2016

‘Power, finesse, complexity and thick ribs of tannin…95 points – Campbell Mattinson – Wine Front

The 2015 Riesling is our 40th vintage and the first made using 100% whole bunch pressing in our new German made Europress.

‘…could be the best of the 40 vintages made to date. 96 points – Chris Shanahan – The Canberra Times

‘This wine may set a new standard for the region. It’s as pure as the driven snow… ★★★★★.’ – Lester Jesberg – Winewise

The 2014 Hilltops is our ripest, blackest Hilltops Shiraz since the epic 2009.

‘…full to the brim with saturnine black fruits…95 points – Halliday Wine Companion 2016

‘…ready to rip now but with the balance and tannin to see it mature for many a year. 93 points’ – Campbell Mattinson – Wine Front

I think you’re going to love these new wines.

In a couple of weeks we will announce our Clonakilla dinner series venues and dates for 2015.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

2013 Shiraz Viognier Magnums available now

I dare say you will roll your eyes, but I just have to recount some of what the critics have said about the 2013 Shiraz Viognier:

“… A magical wine, probably the best ever under this label. 97 points” – Huon Hooke

“… gloriously exotic, yet at every moment distinguished, effortless and refined… 98 points” – Tyson Stelzer

“… the iron fist in the velvet glove… glorious fragrance… silky and prodigiously long… 98 points” – James Halliday

“… like a ballet in your mouth… 98 points if I scored” – Winsor Dobbin

“… Possibly the best Australian Shiraz I have ever tasted.” – Will Lyon, Wall Street Journal

The 2013 Shiraz Viognier magnum is available now for immediate delivery, in our lovely new magnum boxes.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

2013 Shiraz Viognier Magnums available to pre-order now

I dare say you will roll your eyes, but I just have to recount some of what the critics have said about the 2013 Shiraz Viognier:

“… A magical wine, probably the best ever under this label. 97 points” – Huon Hooke

“… gloriously exotic, yet at every moment distinguished, effortless and refined… 98 points” – Tyson Stelzer

“… the iron fist in the velvet glove… glorious fragrance… silky and prodigiously long… 98 points” – James Halliday

“… like a ballet in your mouth… 98 points if I scored” – Winsor Dobbin

“… Possibly the best Australian Shiraz I have ever tasted.” – Will Lyon, Wall Street Journal

The 2013 Shiraz Viognier magnum is available for pre-order now. Delivery next month. (Yes, we are still waiting on our new magnum boxes to arrive…)

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

Recent reviews of our September releases

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
2013 Shiraz Viognier_artlabel
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

2014 Riesling

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 ShanahanThe 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.’