Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier
Clonakilla literally means ‘meadow of the church’ and is the name of the founder’s grandfather’s farm in County Clare, Ireland. Dr John Kirk founded Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra in 1971. In 1997 Tim Kirk, the fourth of John’s six sons, took over responsibility for winemaking and general management.
Canberra is fast becoming recognised for its cluster of twenty or so fast improving small wineries dotted about this higher altitude region of New South Wales. Clonakilla is the leading estate in the region.
VINEYARDS & VINTAGE
The fruit comes from two adjacent, family-owned vineyards just outside the village of Murrumbateman in the cool Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. ‘Canberra District’ is the official geographical indicator. This is the name given to the winegrowing district around Canberra, Australia’s national capital.
2008 was a great vintage in the Canberra District. After a cool February, March rolled in with a series of gloriously warm days. The Shiraz and Viognier vines in the Clonakilla estate vineyards made the most of the autumn sun, producing wines with potent ripe fruit aromas and generous, rounded tannins.
Each vineyard block is kept separate through the winemaking and maturation process until final blend selections are made prior to bottling. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted 3 days, with 20% whole bunches. The wine spent an average of 3 weeks on the skins, followed by 12 months in French oak, of which 30% was new and the rest a combination of one, two and three year old barrels. The oak was all French and the coopers included Francois Freres, Sirugue, Mercurey and Taransaud.
James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2010
“As expected the wine is young and buoyant, with a highly fragrant perfume of red fruit, fresh blackberry, violets, roast meat and a little tar; the palate reveals the true potential of this superb wine, with a cascading array of flavours and thrillingly silky tannin, poised acidity and a peacock’s tail on the very long and precise palate. Rating 97points To 2025”
Clonakilla Decanter article May 2010 - see attached