It has been a remarkable journey for Clonakilla. When John Kirk planted the first vines in 1971 he had no idea that his vineyard would one day be celebrated as one of the best in the country. Along the way there have been trials and tribulations as well as moments of unprecendented success. Over time something important has become clear: Murrumbateman and Shiraz are one of those rare combinations in the world of wine that can produce something truly exciting.
Sean O’Riada is one of the heroes of modern Ireland. A talented musician and composer, he is credited with taking traditional Irish music out of the kitchens and pubs of Ireland and putting it on the concert stages of the world. He died, prematurely, in 1971, the year Clonakilla was established by John Kirk. He was John’s cousin.
This has class stamped all over it from the moment you first taste it, sweeping away any necessity to describe the colour or bouquet; it creates a sparkling river of dark fruits that run from the tip of the tongue through to the elegant, but oh so complex, finish and aftertaste. Exhilarating. Drink by: 2045; Price: $45.00; Alcohol: 13.5; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
This sparkly new 2017 O’Riada Shiraz is just gorgeous and dangerously drinkable. High-toned and laden with exotic spice and pure berry fruits – pretty much the ideal mid-weight cool-climate Shiraz. Lovely. Dave Brookes
I hope and pray that Clonakilla O’Riada Shiraz remains at this price level. It’s not about me but: I love this wine. It’s built on acidity and spice as much as it is on fruit and tannin. It’s direct, it’s exotic, it’s meaty and floral, but it’s also laced with black cherry and fennel. It has velocity and tension. It is simply a beautiful, modern red wine in the best says of the word(s). Tasted: Aug18 Alcohol: 13.5% Price: $40 Closure: Screwcap Drink: 2019 - 2026+; Rated: 94 Points; Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
Incredibly complex aromas of baking spices, fresh red fruit and a fine and elegant, floral edge, as well as red cherries, raspberries and red plums. This is phenomenal, so precise and concentrated with such detail and power, delivered with elegance and precision. The palate is super long. The best vintage made at Clonakilla to date! Perfection! Drink now, but better from 2026. Screw cap. Rating 99 Points; James Suckling
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