The 2013 declares itself as one of the great Clonakillas, thanks to a season of warmer days and cooler nights than average and rains exactly when they were needed. The result is gloriously exotic, yet at every moment distinguished, effortless and refined, assembled with impeccable precision engineering, with every element in intricate balance. Great depth of pepper, rosebud, exotic spice, dried herbs and black fruits of all kinds are set in place by a very finely-textured, mouth-filling underlay of impeccably knit, silky tannins. The finish is epic, seamless and enduring. 5% co-fermented Viognier. Drink 2023-2033.
98 points, Wine Taste Weekly.
This is the iron fist in the velvet glove, the bouquet of glorious fragrance, the medium-bodied palate silky and prodigiously long; spicy red fruits dance around darker fruits, and the fine tannins have an altogether different feel to those of the other two '13 Shirazes.
98 points, Wine Companion, March 2014
Fair to say that I love this release. It’s a mid-point wine, not too heavy, not too light, full of spice and insistence and powerful through the finish, but light and fruity enough for sheer drinking pleasure to be a key part of its schtick. Meat, pepper, a keen feeling of intricacy, dark cherries, nuts. Every now and then – if I can make this personal – I find myself staring and/or mesmerised by the handwork stitching on the lapel of a suit; this wine reminds of that. I was in a Japanese sword shop last week and the detail and adornment that goes into the handles of the great swords; craft is where the quality is, that consumed level of attention. Total Craft. Total Wine. Whatever you want to call it. This wine sits in that lineage but its beauty is all its own. 96 points, winefront.com.au
Vines were first planted in the Canberra District in 1971 near Lake George by Dr Edgar Riek. The district is roughly divided into two areas, one in the Yass Valley around Murrumbateman and the other around Lake George and Bungendore. Canberra District has a cool continental climate with hot dry summers necessitating irrigation. A region of rolling hills, with elevations varying between 300 and 800 metres, means that spring frost is a real hazard, making site selection crucial. Small producers dominate the region, making handcrafted, high-quality wines particularly from Riesling, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
The story of Clonakilla is one of risk and ingenuity, of vision, generosity and faith. Founded in 1971, Clonakilla grew from a small, struggling boutique winery in the marginal wine region of Murrumbateman to become an icon of ultra-fine Australian wine. Under the skilled winemaking of Chief Winemaker Tim Kirk, Clonakilla’s remarkable flagship wine, the Langton’s Classified ‘Exceptional’ Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has risen to become a definitive example of its genre. Clonakilla also produces a number of superb whites including Riesling, Chardonnay and Viognier alongside its range of superbly crafted cool climate reds.