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Kilikanoon Killerman's Run 2010, Shiraz Grenache, South Australia

Drunk October 2013

The winery

Winemaker Kevin Mitchell purchased the Kilikanoon property in the heart of South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley in 1997 with a vision of creating his own brand. The first Kilikanoon branded wines were from the 1997 vintage and released in 1998. The wines were Shiraz (soon to become the Oracle, Mort’s Block Riesling, Prodigal Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, with all the grapes coming from the 2 vineyards owned by Kevin and his father Mort.

Mort Mitchell has been a defining influence, having planted and lovingly tended for decades Kilikanoon’s Golden Hillside suite of contiguous vineyards, including the famed Mort’s Block, home to Kilikanoon flagship wines like Oracle Shiraz and Mort’s Block Riesling. The vines are now around 40 year of age. Kevin’s love of terroir comes from years of playing and then working in these vineyards as a child alongside his father.

From these humble beginnings with about 2000 dozen bottles produced from the 1997 vintage, Kilikanoon has grown its production to over 50,000 dozen in 2012. This has been done without any change in the philosophy of hand crafted wines, but has been made possible by the gradual acquisition of estate-owned vineyards throughout South Australia’s finest wine regions. In addition to its vineyards in the Clare Valley, which now total over 150 acres or 60 hectares, the Kilikanoon group, through its owners, partner winery Seppeltsfield and the Watervale Private Trust, a small group of wine-loving investors owns vineyards in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, and the northern district of the Southern Flinders Ranges. In total over 3000 acres or 1200 hectares. The group sells excess production to a number of Australian wineries

This rapid growth required some help. Kevin’s main partners in Kilikanoon since 2001 have been two well-known Australian classical musicians, Nathan Waks (Principal Cellist with the Sydney Symphony and also Managing Director of Kilikanoon) and John Harding (concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras), along with Bruce Baudinet (Kilikanoon Chairman) and head of Oracle Funds Management and their families. This has kept Kilikanoon a small family run company, with Board meetings often taking place under the arbour at the Kilikanoon cellar door…

 “This is one of the most brilliantly run wineries in Australia” from Robert Parker Jnr’s Wine Advocate, who has regularly scored Kilikanoon’s wines up to 98 points, and the coveted 5 red stars from James Halliday’s authoritative Australian Wine Companion. 

In late 2007 Kilikanoon and partners acquired Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s most revered and historic wineries, established in 1851 and the home to one of the world’s finest collections of barrel-aged fortified wines, including the unique unbroken collection of Vintage dated 100 year old Para Tawny (port) dating back to 1878, when the first wines were laid down, not to be bottled for 100 years. 

The wine

Low yielding grapes from several vineyards were selected from a range of South Australian vineyards to produce this Kilikanoon Killerman's Run.

The wine was deep red in the glass with an intense nose of cherry and oak. 

The palate appared very over powered by tannins on first drinking....the dryness was intense, though this moderated on subsequent drinking the next day with a good pasta meal where the fruit of Cherry and Plum was more evident. Hmmm....not sure what to make of this one, certainly not one of my favourites perhaps because the natural tartness of grenache hasn't been overcome by the shiraz. 

Kilikanoon has a reputation as an excellent producer, now I must try another one of their wines and hope for better luck next time.

Bought Philgas and Swigot