The remarkable run of Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier continues. 95% Shiraz: 5% Viognier. This release hasa long life ahead. It’s so firm, so long, and has lots of meat on its bones. It’s savoury and peppery, essentially, but bursts too with black, ripe, soy-infused berries. Power, finesse, complexity and thick ribs of tannin. One thing it is not is sweet; though it compensates with abundant perfume. A roasted, nut-like character appears right there on the finish, like a glyph. Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier usually drinks well from the day of release; this one needs a little cellar time.
95 points, Wine Front
The bright hue and perfumed bouquet run true to type for this modern classic, setting the bar for the co-fermented blend several years ago. It has a set of flavours that are unique, and can fool even expert tasters in blind tastings, its cross-thatched flavours (not textures) need careful navigation.
96 points, Wine Companion
A deep-set nose, brooding almost. This has beef stock, high quality dark chocolate and cocoa powder notes, opening to reveal a wealth of ripe and bright summer berries, dark plums and a granite-like layer; this has impressive aromatic depth. The palate instantly captures with fine layered tannins that coat the mouth. Flavours of chocolate-coated black cherry, pepper, kirsch and plum liqueur roll playfully through. This is so complex, so entrancing and masterfully executed. Great wine. Best from 2022. 96 points, jamessuckling.com
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.