2016 Shiraz Viognier released

The 2016 vintage was generous and early. Late summer temperatures were consistently warmer than average and a larger than average crop proved to be a double blessing, slowing the ripening, which would have otherwise raced ahead, and filling the fermenters in our newly expanded winery with some of the most opulent, spice laden, dark berry fruit we have seen. A powerful vintage with great cellaring potential.

From deep within the vineyards at Clonakilla Tim speaks about the soil structure and its impact on the wine.

Spring releases – two benchmark wines

Is this the most highly anticipated release we have ever had? The volume of calls we have taken and emails we have received have been phenomenal. Well today is the day….the 2015 Shiraz Viognier and 2016 Riesling are now available for purchase.

2015 Shiraz Viognier
As seasons go, I’m not sure you can get better conditions than we had in 2015. There was higher than average rainfall in December and January. By late January things warmed and dried and the miracle began to unfold: Day after day of mid to high 20s, cool nights, light breezes, a steady, warm glow in the vineyard with no pressure from excessive heat, rain or wind. Ripening proceeded like a dream.

There is more of everything in the 2015. Intensely aromatic with a mysterious energy pulsing through the palate. Insistent and persistent. A grand cru if ever we have made one.

The critics agree:

“It is a thinker’s wine, it stops you, draws you in and captivates. Incredibly detailed and floral-scented, the sumptuous and finely poised palate is a masterpiece.” – James Halliday

“2015 is without a doubt the best to date in a long line of excellent vintages. And whilst the name and the vines may be comparatively newer, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is now every bit as important to the story of great Australian wine as Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange.”

“This is a rare beauty, to see a syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way. 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. 99″ – Nick Stock

“I’m taken. Gorgeous, silky texture, a symphony of character in fragrance, game meats, herbs, red berries, clove, sweet spice. The palate is incredible – supple, pliant, long, satiny yet etched with the finest tat-work of lacy tannin. It’s savoury, fruit driven, pure-feeling but lifted on fine spicy oak and glossy acidity. In essence, it drinks utterly superbly. It’s next level. It’s a new classic for Clonakilla. Glory be. 97″ – Mike Bennie

With so much attention on the Shiraz Viognier, the 2016 Riesling simply won’t get the attention it deserves. Don’t miss it. It’s a cracker!

Effortless drinking here, with a high quality feel. Zips along on piercing acidity that drills a zingy hole through the juicy, cool, limey fruit character found in the wine. Aromas are floral, citrussy, lime and kaffir lime leaf, ginger scented, faintly yeasty. Pretty as. Fresh, flirty, then finishes with fine, chalk-meets-crushed-slate vibe.” – Mike Bennie

Look out for the notification of the 2016 Clonakilla Dinner Series in a couple of weeks time. This year we will be partnering with our friends from the wonderful Ogier winery in Cote Rotie.

Clonakilla promotional video

Late last year we had a video crew here making a promotional video for screening on Jetstar flights. They had a drone buzzing around the estate which made for some great shots of the vineyard. Both Tim and Bryan contributed to the narrative. Have a look.

“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:

A great year

We’ve had a fantastic year.

To begin with, the 2013 vintage was remarkable. Every variety revelled in the warm days and cool nights that Murrumbateman served up leading into harvest.

Just yesterday we finalised the blend for the 2013 Shiraz Viognier and it looks fabulous.
svbatches_web
The 2013s across the board are a delight. The Riesling received 95 points from pretty well everyone who reviewed it including Huon Hooke, Jeremy Oliver, Campbell Mattinson and Tyson Stelzer. Winewise magazine bestowed a rare ‘Outstanding’ rating upon it.

The Viognier Nouveau is all but sold out now with the Riesling soon to follow. As far as the whites go, soon it will be just the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc holding the fort until the 2013 Chardonnay and 2013 Viognier are released in Autumn next year.

The 2012 reds have seen a return to deeper, darker flavours after the fragrant, feather fine 2011s. We were thrilled to see the 2012 Shiraz Viognier garner a series of fantastic reviews, with 97 pointers from James Halliday, Tim White and Chris Shanahan.

A high point for me was winning the coveted Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine ‘Australian Winemaker of the Year’ award. I became a local celebrity for a week, making the front page of the Yass Tribune and spending an hour on air with the lovely Alex Sloan on 666 ABC Canberra. I even made it on to the local edition of ABC television’s 7.30 report.

At the winery there are plans aplenty with the design of our new cellar door and office complex in the last stages of design. We will start building in 2014.

We’re extending our winemaking facilities too, with not one but two new sheds going up to give us more room to move.

Thanks to you for your interest and support again in 2013.

Wishing you and your family every Christmas blessing,

Tim Kirk