2018 Shiraz Viognier

There is no doubt the 2018 is one of the great vintages.
A lower than average crop produced fruit with soaring aromas and intense energy through the palate.

“This is phenomenal, so precise and concentrated with such detail and power, delivered with elegance and precision…” 99 James Suckling, Nick Stock

“There’s great intensity as well as elegance here…A delicious wine in a medium-bodied but seriously structured style.” 98 Huon Hooke

“This 2018 may well be the best shiraz released in Australia this year…It’s a superb release…it’s the definition of seamless…We are looking at an ultra-long-term wine here, deserving of prime space in the best of cellars.” 96 Campbell Mattinson

Look out for the announcement of the venues for our 2019 Clonakilla Dinner Series in a couple of weeks.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

Three new wines!

Three new vintage releases to ease you into the new financial year.

The 2018 Hilltops Shiraz is a gorgeous wine from an epic vintage. A couple of reviews for you:

“This is another beauty. I opened it on a Friday night and as I did so I wondered whether it was “Friday night worthy”. It was and then some. It boasts ample dark cherry/berry fruit, comes inlaid with spice, carries its floral highlights with ease and has a meaty, spicy, clovey finish. It’s juicy throughout and yet it has power; the tannin too has a fine spread-and-run aspect to it. It’s a winner for sure. It will age beautifully as well”. – Campbell Mattinson

“Very deep aromas of raspberries and red plums with subtly spicy notes, leading to a palate that has a super fleshy, juicy and red-fruited core of fine, long tannins. Drink now.” – James Suckling/Nick Stock

If you’re looking for winter whites, here are two, straight off our shiny new bottling line:

2019 Viognier Nouveau

2019 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

STOP PRESS
A beautiful review for the 2017 O’Riada Shiraz from the great man James Halliday in the just released August/September edition of Halliday Magazine:

“Spice, red flowers, pepper and wood smoke all appear and promptly disappear on the bouquet, reforming in a different order next time around, the ensuing palate a pond without a single ruffle. Red cherry infuses all of one’s senses with a constant framework of spice. The faultless balance will still be sustaining the wine 30 years hence. What value!

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

Small Batch release 2019

We love the small batch release. It’s a joy to share with you the rarer parcels we have been working on.

2017 Syrah
100% destemmed Shiraz grapes from the top half of the T&L One block. A month on skins, 22 months in French oak puncheons.

A superb vintage for Clonakilla, set to go down among the greatest in the history of this legendary cuvée, capturing every captivating detail of eloquent grace of this fabled vineyard… Every detail is mastered with the utmost fidelity, preserved in perfect harmony on an epic finish. 98 points – Tyson Stelzer

So silky, so fine, the delicacy and prettiness such a charm. It’s a highly perfumed wine that sings with purity and vitality…Epic length, such finesse and elegance. So very beautiful, so inspiring and delicious to drink. Praise be. 96 points – Mike Bennie, Winefront

2017 Ballinderry
Our Bordeaux blend (Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Merlot), 100% destemmed and 22 months in 225 Litre barriques.

It should not be possible to craft a Bordeaux blend as refined and glorious as this alongside the cooler climate varieties that flourish at Clonakilla, but the sheer class of this cuvée is testament to the wizardry of the Kirks and their epic site. It is consummately floral, perfectly ripe, super finely structured, magnificently persistent and packed with potential. 94 points – Tyson Stelzer

A lovely rendition of the Claret-style red… It feels cool, warm and refreshing at once, anise and mint characters dancing with currants and cloves. Not a bump in sight. 94 points – Campbell Mattinson, Winefront

2018 Pinot Noir
Lovingly made in tiny volumes. 30% whole bunch. Twelve months in tight grain puncheons. Clones 777, 667, 115, Abel, Pommard and the unidentified clone that dad planted in 1978.

This is a particularly elegant pinot for Clonakilla… Its floral flamboyance makes it enticing from the outset, the perfect partner to cuisines preferring a lighter take on pinot. 92 points – Tyson Stelzer

2018 Ceoltoiri
An ode to the Southern Rhone. Six varieties: Grenache, Mourvedre, Shiraz, Cinsault, Counoise and Roussanne. 100% destemmed. Twelve months in older oak puncheons.

The thing that lifts this cuvée off the page of southern Rhône style blends is…the harmonious, seamless, masterful manner in which every detail is effortlessly united with super fine tannins, refreshing acidity and fantastic persistence. Best yet.
94 points – Tyson Stelzer

Another very strong release. Light, perfumed and frisky but with enough substance to satisfy…Everything in right and good order. Class producer, class wine. 93 points – Campbell Mattinson, Winefront

2018 Tumbarumba Chardonnay

Tight and bright in a classically restrained Tumba style. Whole bunch pressed. 11 months in French puncheons.

The wine is tight and refined, tense and reserved, with excellent nerve and vitality through the palate…A very young but very promising chardonnay. This should go on to bigger and better things with another year in bottle. A stunning youngster.
93 points – Huon Hooke

We love the small batch release. It’s a joy to share with you the rarer parcels we have been working on.

A reminder that an order of six of the Syrah will come in our beautiful new packaging (vineyard map printed in the lid!)

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

2018 Riesling now available!

You may have picked up that we are really, really excited about the 2018 vintage.

Perhaps the purest of all the wines we make is the Riesling. The winemaking could not be simpler. We load the whole bunches directly into the press and turn it on. We collect the ‘freshly squeezed’ Riesling juice in a tank and throw in a neutral yeast. We keep the temperature low as it ferments, rack it of the yeast lees, filter it and bottle it. To get a picture of the personality of the vintage, taste the Riesling!

“While Tim Kirk and his team at Clonakilla are best-known for their shiraz-viognier blends and other world-class reds, the Riesling is, for me, the best-value wine in the entire range…This is fine and lean and immediately appealing with lemon, lime and grapefruit notes, spiky acidity and lots of length. Pair this with Thai or Vietnamese dishes. While I was sipping and savouring, my usually restrained wife devoured the rest of the bottle.” – Winsor Dobbin

“…a delicious riesling with rich, citrus-like varietal flavour in the pure, delicate Clonakilla style. It’s impressive now as a vibrant, fruity young wine but it’ll change in pleasing ways over the next decade – best experienced by cellaring a case and enjoying a bottle every year or two, potentially over decades.” – Chris Shanahan

A heads up: Our Rare and Small batch wines will be released on April 30. For Canberra region members, we will be holding our annual Rare and Small batch dinner at Pialligo Estate Restaurant that night. More details soon.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

Christmas Greetings

Isn’t it amazing how quickly Christmas comes around?

We send our greetings for the season and thank you for your interest and support over the last twelve months.

We have had a number of highlights for the wines this year. The 98 point reviews from James Halliday and Nick Stock for the gorgeous 2017 Shiraz Viognier were a thrill.

And I have to admit hearing that the 2016 O’Riada Shiraz just beat the 2017 Hilltops Shiraz for the trophy for the best Shiraz of the 2018 Canberra regional Wine Show was a buzz. (It went on to win the trophies for Best Red and Champion Wine of the show too. Not bad!)

As wonderful as our 2017 reds are, here’s an insiders tip: Keep a watchful eye out for the 2018s next year. (That’s all our General Manager Dave allows me to say…)

It’s been a great year.

Christmas blessings to you and yours,

Tim Kirk

*If you are wanting to purchase wines online you will need to do so by Monday the 17th of December – that is our last shipping day of the year. 

**The cellar door will be closed on Dec 24, 25, 26, 31 and Jan 1st.  We will be open all other days between 11-4 on the weekdays and 10-5 on the weekends.

Weather alert! NSW/ACT and many other areas across the country are experiencing extreme heat this week. We are delaying shipment of all online orders, unless otherwise advised, until more moderate conditions prevail.