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Katnook Estate


Katnook Gala Nights at the Opera.  March 2016

Katnook is proud to offer its customers an exclusive opportunity to meet the stars of Opera Australia's "Pearlfishers" as part of our annual VIP Gala Nights at the Opera series.  In 2016, join us in Sydney on March 3rd or Melbourne on May 26th.

THe evening includes A reserve seating, a program, VIP interval drinks at which Katnook new releases will be served plus the post performance private meeting wiht  the stars.  See our events tab for more details and how to book.  Places are strictly limited.

Katnook Estate
26 July 2017 | Katnook Estate

Trio of Founder's Block 2015 Reds Released

Three Katnook Founder’s Block varietal reds from the 2015 vintage will be released this month. Harvested exclusively from Katnook’s proprietary vineyards, the Katnook Founder’s Block range captures the essence of Coonawarra and offers contemporary wines for everyday enjoyment.

The range is named after the original land holding of John Riddoch, the founder of Coonawarra wine region. In 1890, Riddoch set up headquarters of the newly formed Coonawarra Fruit Colony at his property ‘Katnook’.  Here he made the region’s first commercial wine in his woolshed - now Katnook’s barrel room. 

In 1980, winemaker Wayne Stehbens rekindled the property’s winemaking history, making the first Katnook Estate wines. In 2005, responding to evolving demands of wine drinkers, Stehbens created the singular fruit focussed Katnook Founder’s Block range, priced to entice a new audience.

Retailing at $20 a bottle, please find enclosed a sample of the latest release Katnook Founder’s Block 2015 Merlot, 2015 Shiraz and 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Each wine is available at Dan Murphy’s and at selected independent retailers Australia wide.

The 2015 Vintage in Coonawarra began with a warm spring, advancing flowering by about two weeks.  This promoted fast and even berry set, similar to other outstanding vintages such as 2004 and 2010. Dry conditions continued through to mid-January, when a welcome 90mm of rain fell. Summer days were warm and nights were cool, providing a long and cool ripening of the reds, which were harvested from late March until early April. All show bright fruit, good varietal definition, intense colour and strong tannins.  Notes for each wine are below.


Harvest: Early to mid-April 2015

pH: 3.48 Acidity: 5.5g/L Alc/vol:13.5%

Oak Maturation: Approximately 20 percent of this wine was matured for an average of two months in a combination of older French and American oak barrels.

KATNOOK FOUNDER’S BLOCK SHIRAZ 2015.  RRP $20.  Silver Medal, 2016 Decanter Asia Wine Awards, Hong Kong.

Harvest: 15 March - 02 April 2015

pH: 3.53 Acidity: 6.2g/L Alc/vol:13.5%

Oak Maturation: This wine was matured in a combination of older French and American oak barriques for three months.

KATNOOK FOUNDER’S BLOCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015.  RRP $20. Silver Medal, 2017 International Wine Challenge, UK.

Harvest: 08 - 17 April 2015

pH: 3.42 Acidity: 5.98g/L  Alc/vol: 13.5%

Oak Maturation: Approximately 20 percent of this wine was matured for four months in a combination of older French and American oak barrels.

Katnook Founder's Block Wines are distributed by:

Fesq and Company (NSW, VIC, QLD). Tel. 1300 763 377

Off the Vine Distributors (WA). Tel. 08 9418 8210

Muster Wines (SA). Tel. 0430 360 650.

Time Posted: 26/07/2017 at 10:09 AM Permalink to Trio of Founder's Block 2015 Reds Released Permalink
Katnook Estate
30 June 2017 | Katnook Estate

Vintage 2017 in the bag

Vintage 2017 is complete - and initial impressions are that we are in for some fabulous wines from this relatively late season.

Viticulturist Chris Brodie explains  “ A cool growing season and above average rain leading into 2017 harvest saw a later start to vintage, typical of ten years ago. These cooler conditions resulted in budburst being delayed by up to three weeks, with flowering two weeks later.  A warm summer followed, with a welcome spell of hot days in late January.

Harvest started towards early March and continue to completion on 2nd May. Coonawarra has not had a vintage starting this late since the outstanding 2004 vintage.

The 2017 vintage saw white grapes with good varietal definition and the reds, even at lower sugar levels than recent vintages had excellent colour and concentrated fruit flavours. Heavy rain towards the end of April combined with above average yields, meant that not all fruit in Coonawarra was harvested. There are many parcels of high quality grapes for Katnook wines, with Shiraz a standout variety for 2017."

Winemaker Wayne Stehbens says " Overall 2017 was slightly warmer than average, as were yields. Despite some heavy mid-vintage rain, my expectations are for a very good vintage.

Harvest began with Pinot Meuniere, Pinot Noir (for sparkling base) and Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit was in excellent condition, with high natural acidity and great flavours at low sugar levels. 

Riesling and Chardonnay followed in mid-March. Overall, the whites are showing forward fruit and good acid balance.

Red grapes came in later than usual, starting in late March and finishing 02 May. We chose to leave some fruit on the vines due to the heavy rains in late April, meaning we did not compromise on quality.

Cabernet at this early stage is deep in colour with elegant fruit flavours and medium body. Shiraz is exceptional, intense, spicy flavours and good palate structure."

Time Posted: 30/06/2017 at 11:03 AM Permalink to Vintage 2017 in the bag Permalink
Katnook Estate
5 May 2017 | Katnook Estate

Langton's Trio Release

Katnook Coonawarra is one the few wineries with three or more listings in the Langton’s Classification of Australian wine.  This month, Katnook releases its flagship wines, Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon and Prodigy Shiraz from the outstanding 2012 vintage as well as Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  Under the Langton’s Classification IV, Odyssey is rated ‘Outstanding’ while Prodigy and Katnook Estate Cabernet sit in the ‘ Excellent’ category. 

Katnook Winemaker Wayne Stehbens says the 2012 Coonawarra vintage, “is now considered to be one of the finest for Coonawarra.  It was a very early, warm, dry, low yielding vintage which led to intense fruit aromas, great depth of flavours and fine tannins for both Odyssey Cabernet and Prodigy Shiraz.” 

Katnook Prodigy Shiraz 2012. RRP $100.

Prodigy is one of 65 wines listed in the ‘Excellent’ category of the Langton’s VI, Classification of Australian Wine.  
The first Prodigy vintage was in 1997 from young vines and won the Jimmy Watson trophy, Melbourne Wine Show 1998. The 2012 is the 13th release.
Prodigy is crafted from small parcels of grapes harvested from sites that have consistently produced fruit of outstanding depth of fruit flavour, excellent colour and firm tannin structure.
James Halliday rated this wine 96 points saying, " Prodigy marches to the tune of its own drum, and practice has long since made perfect. Despite all the winemaking and time spent in oak, it has retained balance, emerging at the end of the process as elegant, the tannins supple, the wine fresh.”  (Australian Wine Companion 2017).

Grape Variety            100% Shiraz

Region                        100% Coonawarra

Harvested                   20th – 22nd March 2012

Analyses                     pH  3.39,  Acidity  6.1g/L, Alc/vol. 14.5%

Cellaring Potential      10 to 15 years

Oak maturation          25 months in 225L barriques in new and 2 year old French, as well as new American oak.

Andrew Caillard MW reviewed the Prodigy Shiraz style at as follows:

Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz, first made in 1997 by senior winemaker Wayne Stehbens, comprises select parcels of the best fruit from the estate’s 26 hectares of mature Shiraz vineyards. The vines, established in the mid-1990s and planted at 1.5 metre intervals in rows two metres apart, are anchored in classic terra rossa soils over limestone and transitional dark clays. Low crop yields are achieved by precise canopy management, hand-pruning, bunch-thinning and shoot-removal. Organic principles are increasingly followed. The wine is small-batch vinified in open fermenters, basket-pressed and then matured in new (up to 100%) French and American oak barriques for 24 - 28 months. Katnook Estate Prodigy Shiraz typically shows intense raspberry and plum aromas, generous, pure-fruit flavours and underlying liquorice spice with finely-grained tannins and plenty of flavour length. 

Katnook Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.  RRP $100.

Odyssey is one of 52 wines listed in the ‘Outstanding’ category of the Langton’s VI, Classification of Australian Wine.
First vintage was in 1991.  Accolades include the Frescobaldi Trophy and Best Australian Red at the 2003 International Wine and Spirit Competition for the 1998 vintage.
Rated 95 points by James Halliday, who described it as “Hyper-intense, full-bodied cabernet varietal fruit is beyond the normal Odyssey style, but none the worse (indeed better) for that; blackcurrant and bay leaf, plus notes of tar, race along the palate, barely checking their momentum on the finish and aftertaste. Drink by 2037.”  (Australian Wine Companion 2017).

Grape Variety            100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region                        100% Coonawarra

Harvested                   8th – 13th April 2012

Analyses                     pH  3.4,  Acidity  6.99g/L, Alc/vol. 14.5%

Cellaring Potential      15 to 18 years

Oak maturation          13 months in 50% French (10% new) and 50% older American oak barriques

Andrew Caillard MW reviewed the Odyssey style at as follows:

The concentrated and powerful Odyssey is selected from the most outstanding parcels of intense Cabernet fruit from specific vineyard rows planted on rich, clay, terra rossa loams over a thick, hard layer of limestone. After vinification in small-batch fermenters, maturation takes place over 30 to 40 months in a combination of new French and American barriques. Some parcels are ‘double-oaked’ to increase flavour complexity. The maturation regime is intuitive to the character of the vintage. Stehbens describes the overall style as ‘a wine with ripe, rich fruit combined with complex oak and barrel-matured flavours’. This highly-prized Coonawarra wine is a benchmark style with beautifully intense, pure, blackcurrant aromas, mocha oak complexity, superb volume and dense, chocolaty tannins. The Odyssey verges on the ‘essence-of-Coonawarra’ style yet manages to achieve remarkable balance and minerality.”

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  RRP $40.

Stehbens describes the 2013 vintage as “One of the earliest starts and finishes on record - slightly warmer than normal, very dry but without the extreme heat experienced in many other parts of Australia.    From a grape ripening view point that was ideal.  Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were the stars.” 

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is one of 65 wines listed in the ‘Excellent’ category of the Langton’s VI, Classification of Australian Wine. 
Winner of 4 silver medals at leading international wine competitions.
Sarah Ahmed, Decanter Magazine (UK), September 2016 gave this wine 93 points, describing it as ‘Heady with a rich burnish of charry, spicy oak to its cassis and juicier mulberry and blackberry. Long, with ripe but textural gravelly tannins. Drink: 2016-2028.’

Andrew Caillard MW reviewed this wine style at as follows:

‘The wine is matured in new (30-40%) and seasoned French oak for 22 to 24 months.  Varietal definition and regional expression are captured through meticulous selection of vineyard components, instinctive use of oak maturation and skilful blending.  The wine typically shows intense blackcurrant and mulberry aromas, generous pure-fruit flavours, finely-grained tannins, underlying mocha notes, plenty of flavour length and great aging potential.’  

Availability.  Selected Dan Murphy’s and Vintage Cellars Australia wide stock Odyssey, Prodigy and Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Distribution.  Australian distributors for Katnook wines are:

NSW, VIC, QLD            Fesq and Co.              Tel. 1300 763 377.

SA                                Muster Wine Co.         Tel. 0430 360 650.

WA                              Off the Vine.                Tel. 08 9418 8210.

Time Posted: 05/05/2017 at 1:30 PM Permalink to Langton's Trio Release Permalink
Katnook Estate
6 March 2017 | Katnook Estate

Vintage 2017 update

Vintage 2017 is off to a late start for Katnook Coonawarra.  Here is the latest from our team on the ground.

Viticulturist, Chris Brodie.  The season to date has been cooler and wetter than last year, reminiscent of vintages 10-15 years ago.  Compared to last vintage we are also much later, therefore the acid balance should be excellent in the final wines.  There have been no significant impediments such as prolonged heatwaves, rain, frost etc.  So, looking forward to some terrific fruit quality. 

Winemaker, Wayne Stehbens.  Compared to recent vintage starts, Katnook is around 2 weeks later than usual.  We commenced harvest on the 2nd March 2017 by picking Pinot Meuniere, Pinot Noir (both for sparkling base) and Sauvignon Blanc.  The fruit was in excellent condition, with high natural acidity and great flavours at low sugar levels.  This week we will finish Sauvignon Blanc and make a start on the Riesling, followed by Chardonnay in mid-March.

I expect the harvest for red grapes will start late March.

The long-term weather forecasts are for drier than average temperatures being only slightly above average. Unless this forecast changes dramatically, my expectations are for a very good to excellent vintage.

Time Posted: 06/03/2017 at 10:22 AM Permalink to Vintage 2017 update Permalink
Katnook Estate
27 February 2017 | Katnook Estate

Katnook wins thrice at Sakura Wine Awards, Japan

Katnook Estate is proud to announce it has won the following awards at Japan's largest international wine competition, the Sakura Wine Awards 2017.  This year, 1 500 wines were judged.

Double Gold medals were awarded to Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Katnook Estate Chardonnay 2013.  Double Gold wines scored between 95-100 points and represent the top 5% of the total entries.

A further gold medal ( those scoring 88-94 points) was won by Katnook Estate Shiraz 2012, which coincidentally was a double gold and regional trophy winner at the same show last year.

Japan is an increasingly important market for Katnook Coonawarra and awards such as this increase the demand for fine wines, particularly in the on premise.

Time Posted: 27/02/2017 at 1:11 PM Permalink to Katnook wins thrice at Sakura Wine Awards, Japan Permalink
Katnook Estate
16 February 2017 | Katnook Estate

How to host the perfect outdoor dinner party

In these last few weeks of summer in the southern hemisphere, here are some great tips from Monisha Iswaran on how to host an outdoor dinner party - not forgetting the Katnook Coonawarra Wine! 

How to host the perfect outdoor dinner party.   Monisha Iswaran 13/02/2017 

Are you throwing a dinner party and hoping to make the most of the warm summer weather? Turn your patio or back garden into the perfect party venue with just a few small tips and tricks. Making an outdoor party run seamlessly is an art, and planning and preparation is imperative to make sure you have an enjoyable evening with your guest instead of being stressed the entire time. Follow these simple guidelines to help you keep your food, drinks and decor in check, while keeping your guests entertained and happy.

Prepare Prepare Prepare

When you plan to host outdoors, you face nature in its full force, such as the possibility of rain, extreme sun, pests and a whole other host of unpredictable elements that could ruin your party. As such, event manager Lel Brassel Ngo, co-founder of The Party Kit Company, emphasizes the importance of preparation:

“The key, as with any party, is preparation - especially if you’re entertaining outdoors. Not only is the weather unpredictable, there are issues related to pests, food freshness, guest comfort and lighting. Get prepared by assessing your space: ensure there is adequate seating and shade, noting where to store food and drinks safely, and having measures in place to deter pests.

By developing a menu and preparing food in advance, you will save effort as well; think salads, charcuterie, fruit - things that can be prepared in advance, rather than you having to slave over a stove or barbecue when guests have arrived.”

For more party planning advice or to purchase style Party Kits, check out her online store on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Dress Up Your Dinner Table

One aspect of the night that can be done well before your guests start to arrive is the setting up of your table. Your choice in decor can make the difference between a seemingly shabby, thrown together dinner and making your home and garden a stylish party venue.

When planning the aesthetic tone of your table, start with choosing a centrepiece! You might want to accentuate your outdoor environment by choosing something nature-related, like an eye-catching flower arrangement. Other table decorations with an outdoor feel could include small succulents, a table runner filled with moss, lanterns and a variety of candles. Another option is to include a selection of wooden objects, to contribute to the earthy atmosphere in which your dinner is set.

You also need to consider what type of dinnerware you are planning use, depending on the degree of formality you are hoping to achieve. Generally, choosing plates and cutlery that have colour add to the fun, stylish vibe of the table without have to appear stiff and formal.

Be Ready With Drinks

From the moment your guests arrive, you should have drinks on hand to welcome them into your home, particularly as a dinner party set outdoors may be slightly warm at the start of the evening, and you want to keep your guests feeling cool and cheery. Be sure to have a constant supply of ice on hand, as you are likely to underestimate how much will be used throughout the night, particularly if you have a large party of people coming for dinner. You will also want to have a bucket or tub filled with ice to keep the drinks cold and ready for consumption!

Anna Aldrige from Katnook Coonawarra estate winery, suggests how particular wines are perfect for an outdoor summer dinner:

“Outdoor dinner parties usually call for fresh, fruit driven styles of wine. The reason is that the great outdoors usually send us all into an immediate state of relaxation and focusing on a wine’s subtleties is often better suited to indoor dining. Katnook Coonawarra crafts the Founder’s Block range which are fruit forward, ‘drink now with food’ styles of better known varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Keep The Pests From Your Guests

An important factor to keep track of for an outdoor party is the possibility of insects, such as mosquitoes and the like. Firstly, take preventative measure such as ensuring that any pots, containers or gutters that could contain stagnant water are emptied prior to the evening. This will also help to keep your venue looking clean, smart and ready for hosting.

Understandably, you will not want to be spraying insect repellent throughout your evening, as this is sure to dampen the festive mood. Luckily, there are other options you can consider such as plugging in a number of fans to keep the air moving and the bugs at bay. This will also keep your guests cool and comfortable, killing two birds with one stone. You may even want to place a small fan on the table to keep the food items safe from lingering insects. You can also consider other repellent products, such as a gadget that you can set-up in the garden, or bug wipes that your guests can use on their skin for a pest-free evening!

Sweeten Up Your Summery Party

No outdoor dinner party is complete without the perfect dinner party dessert. Sweets For Tilly has some tips for planning the perfect end to your evening meal:

“Light and simple. For those of you who do not like a heavy and over filling dessert, stick to something light such as cookies with tea and coffee. Macadamia nut cookies or vanilla shortbread go great with some herbal tea or coffee, will not leave you feeling too full and will ensure your guests aren’t rolling home.

Add some variety. If you want to mix things up for your guests instead of having just one simple dessert, add a few different elements to the batter. Cookies, cupcakes, or cheesecake cups. This is a great idea to cater to everyone’s needs and gives the option of more than one dessert. Your guests can also eat as much as they want or keep it to a minimum.”

If you want to get more tips on planning a dessert menu, and get inspired by more creative ideas and themes, check out Sweet For Tilly on Facebook and Instagram.

So there you have your guide to pulling off the perfect outdoor dinner party without a single glitch. Now you have no excuse to be sitting indoors during the months of summery weather. Happy party planning!


Time Posted: 16/02/2017 at 10:22 AM Permalink to How to host the perfect outdoor dinner party Permalink