For anyone who hasn't tried a drop of the Clon, it's not your usual big Aussie wine style, and that's what makes it really interesting. From the Canberra region, Clonakilla wines pack a lot of different ripe fruit and floral tastes into most of its bottles, but with a lot of finesse as well. It's less Dame Edna, more Princess Mary.
Every wine we had last night had some sort of soft, floral notes on the nose which really took my mind to the countryside, as did the food we were served up.
Dinner kicked-off with:
- House Made Potato Gnocchi, Tomato Fondu, Buffalo Mozzarella, Pesto, Parmesan
- with Clonakilla Riesling 2014 & Clonakilla Riesling 2008
- Braised Bangalow Pork Shoulder, Honey Roasted Carrots, Eggplant Puree, Mt Zero Lentils
- with Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2013 & Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2007
It was really great comparing two different vintages of the same wine throughout each course of food to see get a real sense of how wine changes and develops over time. The 2014 riesling was fresh and lemony, while the 2007 was much more toasty.
The pork shoulder melted in your mouth and the little dollops of smoky eggplant puree set it off nicely. The honeyed carrots were moreish as well. Again, a great match with the two vintages of Hilltops Shiraz.
- Manning Valley Braised Short Rib, Smoked Pomme Puree, King Brown Mushroom, Madiera Sauce
- with Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2013 & Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2008
- Selection of cheese
- with Clonakilla Ballinderry 2012
For me, the short rib was my meal pick of the night- nice one Urbane! The rich madiera sauce it was served with was brilliant- we actually could have done with a bit more sauce on the plate. The one king brown mushroom was crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside, and the smoky potato puree lived up to its name and slightly changed the taste of of the wine.
We have quite a few Clonakilla Shiraz Viogniers tucked away because we really do love them so much. The bright red fruits of the 2013 vintage (which by the way, is a pretty exceptional vintage) were a great contrast to the more mature plummy characteristics of the 2008. Both had a lovely fresh stem-taste from the viognier.
What we did love though was the Clonakilla Ballinderry. This 'surprise wine' was actually listed on the tasting notes so not much of a surprise, but I'm the kid of person who likes to know the end of a movie before I begin so that was fine.
While I love the Shiraz Viognier, I really, really, really love the Ballinderry. Really. There were so many flavours all mingled together in the one glass every mouthful was a little surprise- cherry, blackcurrant, raspberry and again that fresh stem taste were all carried by a very structured length. It was however a slightly odd pairing with the cheese, particularly the salty blue.
Clonakilla winemaker Tim Kirk was scheduled to be at this dinner, but was called away last minute to a dinner with visiting world leaders from the G20, in which they were served Clonakilla. As an apology for Tim's absence, we each got to take home a 2013 Hilltops Shiraz- apology very much accepted!
Thanks as well to Vintec and United Cellars for organising the night.
Fabulous food and wine went a long way towards making this Monday night pretty memorable. And if this wine is what we serve when Australia raids its national cellar for dignitaries from abroad, it's good enough for me!
- Urbane can be found at 181 Mary St, Brisbane 4000
- Open Wednesday - Saturday for dinner
- 5 course degustation: $110 / 8 course degustation $145. Matching wines $95 pp.