Clonakilla Dinner 2012

Moon Under Water, Melbourne
Tasted Tuesday, October 9, 2012 by G.M. with 213 views

Introduction

Annual Clonakilla dinner hosted by winemaker Tim Kirk.

Flight 1 - Aperitif (1 Note)

Served with cheese biscuit

  • 2012 Clonakilla Viognier Nouveau 85 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Quite light and fresh for a Viognier. Not a particularly floral nose - more Riesling or Sauv blanc like. Crisp refreshing palate, without the viscous texture typical of Viognier. An enjoyable easy drinking wine made to chosen style. Just not what I enjoy from this variety.

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Flight 2 - Starter (3 Notes)

Served with Rottnest Island scallop, burnt butter and cauliflower

  • 2002 Clonakilla Riesling 91 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Medium gold colour. Enticing complex nose still retaining fresh fruit notes combined with some toasty golden aged characters coming through. Dry with crisp acid. A very enjoyable developed Riesling that could possibly age a bit further.

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  • 2006 Clonakilla Riesling 90 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Still very much a youthful wine. Intense, fruity nose. Lively dry palate with vibrant acid and fruit. No real signs of aging yet. Good length.

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  • 2012 Clonakilla Riesling 87 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Clearly a young wine, currently lacking the complexity of the older wines tasted alongside. Fresh and crisp with a good line. I don't have enough experience with Riesling to know how this will develop compared to the other wines, but Tim appeared quite happy with the wine.

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Flight 3 - Entree (3 Notes)

Served with marinated beetroot, smoked onion and boudin noir

  • 1997 Clonakilla Cabernet-Merlot 93 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Wow! Who knew Canberra could produce such beautiful Cabernet. Amazingly complex and beautiful nose. True cool climate, well-developed Cabernet Merlot, actually somewhat reminiscent of a Yarra Yering Dry Red No1. The nose a hard act to follow, but the palate was no disappointment. Smooth tannin balanced with good acid, alcohol in check. Still carrying some good currant fruit mixed with some nice savoury characters. Good interest and length. A surprisingly excellent wine.

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  • 2006 Clonakilla Ballinderry 89 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    This appeared slightly candied next to the '97. Much more primary, with more simple red and black fruits with very little of the developed complexity. Again, fine smooth tannin, but perhaps without the structure to develop into the 1997? Nonetheless an enjoyable wine.

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  • 2011 Clonakilla Ballinderry 86 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    2011 was a very difficult and wet vintage in Canberra. Tim explained that the Cabernet grapes generally coped well compared to the Shiraz grapes owing to their smaller, thicker-skinned berries. Despite some excellent efforts, the struggle of the vintage was evident in the wine which, although well made, was somewhat thin and a touch green.

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Flight 4 - Main (4 Notes)

Cape Grim striploin, braised short rib & panisses

  • 2003 Clonakilla Shiraz - Viognier 95 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Wow, what a beautiful nose - best of the night, followed closely by the 01 SV and the 97 Cab Merlot. The wonderful tertiary characters are really starting to show through. Cigar box leading the way with, spice, tobacco, and red berries. Palate not as rich as the 01, but just as fine. Probably drinking better now than the 01, which still needs some time to peak. Excellent wine.

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  • 2006 Clonakilla Shiraz - Viognier 91 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Compared to the other vintages of this wine tasted on the night, the nose on the 06 was slightly more fruit dominated and less complex. Bottled under stelvin and doesn't appear to have yet developed far, although I'm not convinced this will ever develop the complexity of the 01 or 03. Sweet fruit and fine tannin on the palate. Reasonable length. A fine wine, but not the best vintage for me.

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  • 2011 Clonakilla Shiraz - Viognier 91 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Again, 2011 was a tough wet year. Apparently the yields were down, due in large part to very vigorous grape selection. Although the weather showed in the somewhat diluted palate, the wine was still very good in its own way. The nose had overt black, even leaning to white, pepper mixed with the red berry fruit. A very enjoyable cool climate shiraz if you enjoy the peppery, spicy, fine grained style.

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  • 2001 Clonakilla Shiraz - Viognier 96 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Issues with the Spanish corks used for this wine has meant that the 01 SV is a bit hit and miss. A gentleman at our table had unfortunately had two poor bottles of this wine, so brought one in from the cellar for Tim to have a look at. Fortunately for all at the table, the wine was in perfect shape and was generously shared around the group. Another wow wine. Would improve even further with time in bottle. Beautiful, complex, plush yet elegant nose of ripe red berry fruit, cigar box, tobacco and spice. Silky, fine tannin, perfectly ripened fruit, and earthy, spicey complexity on the palate. Fine, long finish. This would get even better with age, and/or a good decant. Not meant to be part of the tasting, but ended up WOTN for me.

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Flight 5 - Dessert (1 Note)

Served with mandarin sorbet, Chantilly cream and sweet Cecily

  • 2011 Clonakilla Riesling Auslese

    Australia, New South Wales, Southern New South Wales, Canberra District

    Unfortunately I didn't pay as much attention as I should have to this wine, being too distracted by the Shiraz Viogniers. A rare wine made due to the very wet vintage.

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Closing

A wonderful evening of fine wine and delicious food. Restaurant was atmospheric, service excellent, and company very pleasant (special thanks to Alan). Tim was a gracious, informative and approachable host - thanks.

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