Clonakilla Chardonnay 2003

It’s been two years and five months since the FAA banned liquids on airplanes, and to be honest I’m still miffed. One of the joys of travel was always coming home with a rucksack full of wine to be enjoyed over the next several years; sadly, that’s become far trickier than it used to be, given that you have to pack liquids in your luggage.

Back in 2005, Julian and I took a trip to Canberra to see a rugby match (among other things). We also were fortunate enough to stop by Murrumbateman on the way back to Sydney; this bottle is from that trip.

Time has been kind to this bottle; it’s survived both the trip back to Seattle and, two years ago, the move to California. On the nose, you have rich, buttery, oaky overtones reminiscent of serious California chardonnay; think Kistler. Pear freshness is edged with smoky barrel notes; I’m guessing there was lees stirring involved here too. The color is an impossibly bright, clear, medium yellow, shining in the glass.

On the palate, it initially seems thinner than I had expected, but then it settles in to a medium weight wine. The palate seems a bit hollow towards the finish; however, the wine is still agreeably fresh, tasting largely of fresh hay, butterscotch, and smoky barrel notes. It’s delicious, but at the same time not quite at the level of, say, Giaconda. Remarkable value, though.

Price: $na
Closure: Stelvin

1 thought on “Clonakilla Chardonnay 2003

  1. Personally, I’m a little miffed Tim Kirk no longer makes this wine, as I always found it a delicious Chardonnay, quite worked (as you note) yet elegant too. And excellent value. I guess he blends the Chardonnay grapes into the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc now.

    Still, your note brings back fond memories, not just of the wine but of the whole trip. I believe that was the time you cracked open an impromptu bottle of Ridge Monte Bello at the Clonakilla cellar door, no?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *