Country: Australia Region: Australian Capital Territory Vintage: 2015
Category: White Wine Color: White
"Clonakilla is one of the leading estates in Australia, with an enviable reputation for Shiraz/Viognier. Clonakilla means 'meadow of the church' in gaelic and is the name of the founder's grandfather's farm in County Clare, Ireland.
In 1971, Dr John Kirk planted the Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra, after his scientific curiosity led him to question why vines were not being grown in this area. His research showed that the soil and climate seemed suited to certain varieties. In 1991, Tim Kirk, the fourth of John's six sons, travelled to the Rhône Valley. There he tasted a number of inspirational wines, including Marcel Guigal's single vineyard blends. Inspired by these Côte Rôtie wines, he began including a small amount of Viognier in the Clonakilla Shiraz from 1992. Tim took over full responsibility for winemaking at the 12 hectare family farm in 1997. Clonakilla now produces about 12,000 cases per year, which sell out year after year. In recognition of his achievements, Tim was named Gourmet Wine Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2013.
The Hilltops Shiraz, made from fruit bought in from other growers, is the baby brother of the iconic Canberra District Shiraz/Viognier. The former is forward and accessible and superbly balanced, while the latter, with its lifted aromas of red berries, cracked pepper and spice, is the standard bearer for the cool climate brigade in Australia."
Winemaker: Tim Kirk
John Kirk planted Viognier at Clonakilla in 1986 with a view to having a variety which would give the winery a point of difference. Very few wineries had this variety at the time. Tim Kirk visited the Rhône Valley in 1991 and saw the potential of the variety at Condrieu and Cote Rotie. Since 1992, Clonakilla has been blending Viognier with Shiraz and released their first varietal Viognier in 1998.
A variety of vinification methods were employed with fruit from various sections of vineyard treated in different ways. Some were just destemmed, others destemmed and crushed, others whole bunch pressed. The whole bunch pressed fraction was run straight to barrel. The destemmed batches were settled overnight in tank and run into barrel the following day. A proportion of fine lees was added back to those barrels. All ferments were conducted by indigenous yeasts. The Viognier spent 11 months in French oak, 15% new, with regular lees stirring in the first six months. No malolactic fermentation occurred. Before bottling the wine was fined and filtered.
Now on its 30th vintage, the Viognier is typically generous, with ripe stone fruit, musk and ginger aromas and the trademark Clonakilla flavour-packed palate. Delicious on release, it will age with interest for five to eight years.
Food Suggestion: Perfect with Asian fusion food, seafood and richer white meats.
Closure: Stelvin ABV:14%