May 2018

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