Canberra District Shiraz/Viognier

Canberra

Clonakilla

Dr John Kirk founded Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra,...

in 1971 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. Clonakilla means 'meadow of the church' and is the name of Dr Kirk's grandfather's farm in County Clare, Ireland. In 1997 Tim Kirk, the fourth of John's six sons, took over responsibility for winemaking. Today, Clonakilla is recognised as one of the leading estates in Australia. Tim was named Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2013.

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Vineyards

The fruit comes from two adjacent, family-owned vineyards just outside the village of Murrumbateman in the cool Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Murrumbateman's elevation is 600 metres above sea level. 'Canberra District' is the official geographical indicator for the winegrowing district around Canberra, Australia's capital city.

Vintage Information

In the cool 2012 vintage the estate vines produced a smaller crop than usual. Helped by the low yields, the cooler conditions encouraged a gradual build-up of flavours in the grapes, enabling Tim to make a wine that is strikingly aromatic and wondrously savoury.

Vinification

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 three days, with 20% whole bunches. The wine spent an average of three 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.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of violets, rose petals, raspberries and cracked pepper. Classically cool-climate in style, it has a gentle, spice-laden, medium-bodied palate with feather-fine tannin.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 95% Syrah/Shiraz
5% Viognier
Region Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Winemaker Tim Kirk
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 6.3g/l
Residual Sugar 0.3g/l
Wine pH 3.74