The Pinot is lovingly made in tiny quantities. It’s a blend of fruit from vines on the T&L block (clones 777, 115, 667, Abel, Pommard) and the old, unidentified clone planted by John Kirk at Clonakilla in 1978. 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. Tim Kirk
An elegantly fragrant vintage for Clonakilla, this is a
pinot noir laced with potpourri, beetroot, wild strawberries and tangy morello cherries.
Its energy and endurance are defined as much by tight, cool climate acidity as they are by silky, finely textured tannins, all of which unite to promise a grand future.
Can any vineyard excel at both shiraz and pinot noir? For Clonakilla, whatever, the final verdict, it won’t be for a lack of trying. Tim Kirk’s shiraz-viognier and syrah (reviewed above) easily sit among the world’s best shirazes. Other Canberra District shirazes, too, rate highly in the Australian context.
a serious pinot backed by Tim Kirk’s ardour
But Canberra pinot noir, while good, hasn’t yet drawn comparison with the best Australian versions in my notes.
Clonakilla 2017 moves the quality needle in the right direction, albeit without bending it. Nevertheless, it’s a serious pinot backed by Tim Kirk’s ardour. He writes, ‘This pinot noir is lovingly made in tiny quantities. It’s a blend of fruit from the T&L block (clones 777, 115, Abel, Pommard) and the old, unidentified clone planted by John Kirk [Tim’s father] in 1978’.
Mouth-watering varietal fruit flavour
In this vintage a limpid wine displays attractive stemmy–stalky aroma and flavour, most likely attributable to the inclusion of whole bunches in the ferment. Mouth-watering varietal fruit flavour lies under this winemaker-induced character and it’s wrapped in fine, firm tannins that interplay with the whole-bunch character.