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2018 Syrah now available!

We are thrilled to be releasing the 2018 Syrah today!

The 2018 Syrah, from a stellar vintage, is at least as good as any Syrah, or indeed any wine, we have ever made.

Here is what Huon Hooke had to say:

“The bouquet is spicy first, floral second, fruit driving it … wonderful complexity. The palate is medium-bodied and very elegant, stylish, polished and fluent…The palate length is extraordinary and seamless all the way…It’s deceptively easy to enjoy now, but a few years on it promises to bring even more to the table. Great now and even greater potential.” 98 points – Huon Hooke, The Real Review

Watch this short video about the Syrah and get a feel for the beautiful and distinctive site from which this wine is made.

The majestic 2018 Shiraz Viognier is released in magnum today.

The 2018 Ballinderry likewise is available now. The quality of the vintage shines in this wine too.

You’ll notice there is no 2019 Shiraz Viognier offered here. That wine will be released in March next year. (We’re stretching things out to help cover the loss of the 2020 vintage to smoke.)

Warm regards,

Tim

New wine! 2019 Hilltops Shiraz

We are delighted to be releasing our first Shiraz from the phenomenal 2019 vintage.

The 2019 Hilltops shows all the opulent black fruit and mouth coating intensity of the year. It’s already delicious and I have no doubt it will age beautifully. Mike Bennie’s wonderful prose captures it perfectly:

It’s a significantly excellent release of this shiraz, shimmers in the glass with purple-dark red colour, slips over the palate with a satiny spread of mellifluous fruit and spice, offers fine sheets of lacy tannin and finishes fresh and nicely puckering.

Such pretty sweet fruit, floral notes and piquant spice. Such a delight! Such pleasing and easy drinking but feels like pedigree too. A worthy addition to a cellar (and for your glass now, now, now). – Winefront, June 12, 2020

We were very honoured to come in at number four in Huon Hooke’s list of 52 top Australian wineries in the Good Weekend Magazine (Age and SMH) on Saturday. Huon wrote, ‘The 2018 Shiraz Viognier is a cracking wine, one of winemaker Tim Kirk’s best. Indeed, the entire range is splendid…The house style is restrained, elegant, perfumed and very beautiful. The finesse extends to the Viognier and Riesling 2019.’

This past weekend James Halliday reviewed the 2018 Shiraz Viognier: ‘Fragrant to the point of perfumed aromas of spices, rose petals and red fruit blossom. The palate is, as ever, very complex, with spice berries sewn together by a necklace of tannins. The length is mesmerising.’ – The Weekend Australian Magazine, June 13-14, 2020.

The 2018 SV is down to the last stocks now so get a hold of some and stock your cellar if you haven’t yet. Look out for the Magnum release on September 1.

Warm regards,

Tim Kirk

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

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

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