Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier. Australian Grand Cru Shiraz... It has both lightness and power; it has wooden racks of spice set into deep cupboards of black cherry; it has anise; it has forest berries, it has florals and it has meat, though all of it sits in the one, neat, tidy room. Tannin is so fine and so bright with spice that it sits like gold thread in an evening gown. It’s a wine of shadows and a wine of light; of shadow and of joy. Pour a glass and behold its beauty, for it is rich in that.
96 points, Wine Front, August 2018.
One of the greatest vintages of this wine. It has a super complex array of white and black peppers, hard brown spices, leaves, flowers and fresh wet earth, as well as graphite-like dark stony notes. The palate is immaculately detailed, long and silky with flavours of blackberries, red cherries, red plums, dark cherries, blackberries and dark chocolate. The palate is delivered with steady elegance and power, showing unwavering build and a seemingly never-ending trail of fresh and spicy fruit flavours. With the most immaculate tannins, too. The real soul of this wine shines through in this perfectly simpatico vintage. Fascinating to drink now, but it is best to give it some time. Try around 2025.
98 points, jamessuckling.com, August 2018
A gloriously fragrant and elegant Clonakilla is the blessing of a classic cool year, brimming with rose petal and pot pourri. A delightful core of morello cherry and wild strawberry fruit glides seamlessly through a lingering trail of powder-fine tannins. It's set to go down as a long-lived Clonakilla.
96 points, Tyson Stelzer, tysonstelzer.com
"A co-fermented 94/6% blend. The hue is good, although not deep - pinotish. Tim Kirk nails it when he writes of a line of pure spice running through the bouquet and palate - I would simply add ‘and the aftertaste' because this has superb length and texture, replete with red berry flavours. Clonakilla at its best." 98 points, James Halliday (September 2018)
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.