'The perfumed, spicy bouquet with red flowers and fruits doesn't prepare you for the intensity and piercing length of the beautifully balanced, medium-bodied palate. This is a truly glorious wine that draws you back again and again to explore the wealth of red fruit flavours, and the majesty of its textures and flavours.'
98 points, Wine Companion.
The three most important – for want of a better word – pillars of Australian Shiraz are arguably Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace and Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, with apologies to Tyrrell’s and Mount Pleasant, among others. Given the extraordinary run of quality of Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier over the past (nearly) 20 years it made me wonder, as I consumed a glass or two of this soon-to-be-released 2016, just how far Clonakilla is likely to reach into the mainstream Australian psyche. Will Clonakilla SV ever reach Hill of Grace status in mainstream fame terms? On quality, it should do so. On style, I suspect not. It’s just not big and obvious enough... Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has lost none of its charm or power over the years, but it has become a lighter, more elegant and more finely drawn wine. The subtle change is clearly evident with this 2016. For a long time we’ve played with the term Burgundian Shiraz, especially in relation to Clonakilla, but the phrase is becoming increasingly apt. This wine is light on its feet, perfumed, exotic, marshalled with fruit and spice, and tannic. It doesn’t wallop you upfront; it saves itself for the finish. It’s not an impetuous wine. There are candied notes here, dry spices, woody anise, a whisper of peppercorn. I would almost describe this wine as crisp, such is its lack of gloop, its finesse, its cleansing run of flavour-infused acidity. This release will age magnificently. Drink to 2036+
96 points, The Wine Front.
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.
ClonakillaThe 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.