Kilikanoon Mort's Reserve Riesling 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell, Kilikanoon is a boutique Clare Valley winery with an international reputation for producing regionally expressive, terroir-driven wines. The Kilikanoon property, featuring a circa 1860s stone cottage housing Kilikanoon tasting room, was originally settled by early English migrants who named it after an historic old mansion in Cornwall. On purchasing the property in the 1990s, Kevin Mitchell inherited 30 year old Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Riesling vineyards, many of which were planted by his father, Mort, in the 1960s. Fifteen years on, with the addition of partners Nathan Waks, a principal cellist with the Sydney Symphony, and Bruce Baudinet, Managing Director of Oracle Estates, Kilikanoon is rated by US and Australian critics as one of the Clare Valley's outstanding wineries, producing bracingly intense and long-lived Rieslings, along with powerful, yet balanced, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Clare Valley is actually a series of narrow north to south valleys, each with a different soil type and slightly different weather patterns along their stretch. In the southern heartland between Watervale and Auburn, there is mainly a crumbled, red clay loam soil called terra rossa and cool breezes come in from Gulf St. Vincent. A few miles north, in Polish Hill, is soft, red loam over clay; westerlies blowing in from the Spencer Gulf influece this area's climate.
The differences in soil, elevation, degree of slope and weather enable the region to produce some of Australia’s finest, aromatic, spicy and lime-pithy Rieslings, as well as excellent Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec with ripe plummy fruit, good acid and big structure.
Clare Valley is an isolated farming country with a continental climate known for its warm and sunny days, followed by cool nights—perfect for wine grapes’ development of sugar and phenolic ripeness in conjunction with notable acidity levels.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.