FROM THE TASTINGS: KIRRIHILL

Kirrihill was established in 1998 by two mates from old Clare families with an initial plan to develop vineyards from sites round their farm holdings but things grew from there with the inclusion of more vineyards and in 2000 they decided not just to sell the grapes but to build their own winery. Today Kirrihill is one of the bigger wineries in Clare and harvest more than a quarter of Clare’s fruit. This means they get to keep the cream of what they need and also importantly able to use the scale to keep costs low. As we discovered with the tasting, Kirrrihill wines are some of the best values you’ll find around. The tasting was presented by David Pike, Sales and Marketing manager for Kirrihill


Kirrihill Regional Riesling 2016 $15.99

The Clare Valley is regarded as one of the world’s best region for producing dry Riesling. This is made from fruit sourced from various sub-regions in the Clare – Watervale, Auburn, Armagh. A bright, pale colour with a pristine, pure aroma of limes and white flowers. Light and fresh on the palate (dry at around 4 gms rs and 11.5% alcohol) This is a style of wine that deserves to be popular summer drinking.


Kirrihill Piccoli Lotti – Mount Lofty Ranges Montepulciano 2016 $25.99

The Italian variety of Montepulcianio seems to be making its home in many corners of the world these days.  Piccoli Lotti translates to “small batches” This example is a deep bright purple colour with juicy, red berry fruits. There’s a real tension between fresh, sweet ripe fruits and a taut savoury bite, which works really well. This would be fantastic with tomato pasta dishes.


Kirrihill Regional Cabernet Savignon 2015 $15.99

The regional range offers outstanding value. Inky and dark coloured this is surprisingly rich and dense given its price-point. The regional wines are produced to give early-mid term drinking enjoyment and this one does so in spades. This choc-berry, slightly minty with soft easy tannins.


Kirrihill Vineyard Selection Cabernet Savignon 2015 $25.99

The vineyard selection wines were previously known as “Tullymore Vineyard” (see below), but copyright issues forced a change. This range of wines are from selected parcels from the top sites – in this case Tullymore and Ballingarry (immediately adjacent to the Armagh vineyard). This has more of everything compared to the Regional Selection – sweet vanillin oak, intense blackcurrant, olive tapenade. A ‘big’ wine that deserves time in the cellar. If you can’t wait we also have some of the 2013 available.


Kirrihill Tullymore Cabernet Savignon 2013 $25.99

This wine won the Champion Cabernet and blends Trophy at last year’s NZIWS where they wrote.. “This beautifully composed Cabernet combines fabulous fruit purity with seductive complexity, showing cassis, cigar, game and cedar characters, stylishly enhanced by rich texture and supple mouthfeel.” It is just starting to get into its stride now. We have just a few dozen of this superb wine available.


Kirrihill Regional Shiraz 2015 $15.99

And on to the Shiraz. The vineyards for this wine include Flinders Range to the north of the Clare as well as Auburn, Armagh, Hill River and Leasingham. Like the Regional Cabernet, this has beautiful balance. Flavours of blueberry, sweet spices intertwine with a savoury/olde world character that takes it away from the confected style of many South Australian Shiraz.


Kirrihill Kirrihill Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2015 $25.99

Almost black in colour, this has an impact impact on the senses. Violets, wild berry, black forrest cake flavours with coffee charred oak and a hint of creaminess. This flows through with a fine acid line and nice chalky tannins. A very good wine.


Kirrihill Tullymore Shiraz 2012 $25.99

This is now developing interesting savoury, secondary characters. It is in a good place with the balance between the fruit, olive tapenade secondary flavours, oak and good length. Sold out


Kirrihill E.B’s The Squire Shiraz 2014 $45.99

A new addition to the Kirrihill range, this is the best that they produce. From a single vineyard, this is Big and Robust… with 2 years in 30% new French oak, dark intense fruits, excellent vibrancy and energy this is one for the cellar – 3-4 years up to 10+ years.