2013 O’Riada Shiraz now available

We are excited to announce the release of another in the line of outstanding 2013 reds – the O’Riada Shiraz. “…it is a first class Shiraz, its focus on black fruits on the bouquet, a hint of cherry and plum joining in on the long palate… ” 96 points – James Halliday
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The 2013 Shiraz Viognier continues to accumulate glowing reviews. Huon Hooke in the Sydney Morning Herald proclaims the 2013 SV “A candidate for NSW’s most illustrious wine…it’s a masterpiece of finesse…Nowhere else in this country does shiraz achieve such complexity and allure so young.”

Ralph Kyte Powell’s Wine of the Week in the SMH Good Food and The Age Epicure: “A modern Australian classic, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has never been better. The 2013 is a delight in the first flush of youth, and promises superb improvement over time…In the mouth gorgeously intense fruit meets perfectly poised tannins.”

Keep an eye out for the Rare and Small Batch release coming up on Tuesday April 28th – 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Viognier, 2014 Pinot Noir, 2013 Ballinderry, and the exceptional 2013 Syrah. Add to that list the ultra rare 2013 Clonakilla “Vintage” (a fortified Shiraz).

Kind 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
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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.’

“The aroma…just bursting off the surface of the wine.” Tim tastes the 2013 SV

“It’s that beautiful rose petal, red berry, ripe plum, cherry perfume which makes this wine such a sensation thing to smell…and taste!”, declares Tim.

The entire Clonakilla team is thrilled to be able to release such a stunning version of our Shiraz Viognier. This has been the most anticipated release of the SV since the exceptional 2009. Hear what Tim has to say about this wine:

2014 Viognier Nouveau & Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

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Straight off the bottling line we present the first wines from the 2014 vintage. The 2014 Viognier Nouveau“…capturing the vibrancy of the Viognier fruit in all its youthful glory”* and the 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc -“bright and fresh with lively fruit aromas and a zesty, crisp palate.”*

We are now down to our last few bottles of the “…explosively fragrant, exotically spicy and refreshingly tangy…”** 2012 Shiraz Viognier in magnum format.

Sydneysiders, join me and executive chef Jed Gerrard at the Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year readers’ six-course degustation dinner at Black by Ezard at The Star on July 15th. Ring 02 9657 7028 for bookings. More details.

On another note, this Thursday night I’ll be sleeping out in the open in freezing cold Canberra with three sheets of cardboard for a mattress! I’m doing it to raise money for the work that Vinnies do for homeless people. Can you help? Please consider sponsoring me.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

*Tim Kirk tasting notes **Tyson Stelzer

Rare & Small Batch Release

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It’s an exciting day for us as we announce the release of our Rare & Small Batch wines for 2014. These wines are keenly anticipated by a number of our customers and they tend to sell out quickly. In short, if you are interested in these wines, don’t leave it too long!

Here is what we have available for you:

2012 Syrah

After a cool and wet late summer the weather turned fine and gently warm through the autumn. The 2012 Syrah comes from the top end of T&L blocks one and two. Great Murrumbateman Shiraz from a great site. “An incredible Clonakilla that proclaims the heights of fragrance and complexity…96 points” Tyson Stelzer (limit of 6 bottles)

2013 Pinot Noir

Made in tiny quantities from young vines (clones 777 and 115) and an old, unidentified clone planted by John Kirk in 1978. Subtle perfumes and tender tannins. “The 2012 was a surprise packet; this 2013 is better again…94 points” Campbell Mattinson (limit of 6 bottles)

2013 Ceoltoiri

Rich and ripe but with a savoury cool-climate edge. It’s a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Shiraz and a tiny splash of Cinsault. “It’s a sensational release. So polished. So beautifully ripened…lipsmackingly delicious…class act. 95 points” Campbell Mattinson (limit of 6 bottles)

2012 Ballinderry

We picked clean, ripe fruit from our old vines in mid-April. A blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Cabernet Franc and 28% Merlot.

2013 Chardonnay

From the high altitude ‘Revee Estate’ vineyard in Tumbarumba and small parcels of fruit from Clonakilla. Tight and bright through the palate with a mineral acid backbone. “…classic cool-climate barrel fermented chardonnay with varietal fruit to the fore…with very fine texture. 4.5 stars.” Chris Shanahan

2013 Viognier

Classically rich musk, apricot and ginger notes along with some complex barrel ferment characters on the nose. On the palate – richness without heaviness. “Excellent length. Excellent power…Outstanding release. 95 points. Campbell Mattinson

Keep an eye out for the release of the 2012 Shiraz Viognier magnums in a couple of weeks’ time.

Our Cellar Door is open! To comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, tastings must be conducted seated around tables.  Please book a tasting session using our cellar door booking calendar and secure your spot. We look forward to seeing you!