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It has been a remarkable journey for Clonakilla. When John Kirk planted the first vines in 1971 he had no idea that his vineyard would one day be celebrated as one of the best in the country. Along the way there have been trials and tribulations as well as moments of unprecendented success. Over time something important has become clear: Murrumbateman and Shiraz are one of those rare combinations in the world of wine that can produce something truly exciting.

The Shiraz Vioginer is a selection of the best Shiraz Viognier parcels, crafted from the Murrumbateman vineyard.

This is a rare beauty, to see a syrah-based wine that delivers power in such an elegant way. 2015 is a really impressive vintage for Clonakilla across the board and this, the flagship wine, is every bit as great as it should be. The aromatic spectrum is vast, from fine musky florals to white pepper and almost every imaginable spice, then an incredibly exuberant explosion of fruit, boysenberry, raspberry, cherries of every shade, and plums from red to blue and purple; it is full of life. The palate has an incredibly deep draw, total palate saturation of ripe red cherry, raspberry and red plum flavor, chocolate and a dusting of white pepper. The tannins radiate light and energy, bright from start to finish. Perfectly ripe, seamlessly balanced and actually very approachable. Drink it now, but there's plenty to come in time; this will be best from 2022. Price: $110.00; Rating: 99 Points; Nick Stock, JamesSuckling

Tim Kirk's Socratean dissatisfaction has led to changes in the vineyard and winery alike. One particular change is the increase in the percentage of whole bunches, resulting in even greater perfume and more texture, yet leaving the mouth fresh. Spices are embroidered on the red fruits with unequalled attention to detail. Drink by: 2030; Date Tasted: March 2016; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 98 Points; Special Value Star; Top 100 Wines of 2016; James Halliday Wine Companion

This wine is on song. I’m taken. Gorgeous, silky texture, a symphony of character in fragrance, game meats, herbs, red berries, clove, sweet spice. The palate is incredible – supple, pliant, long, satiny yet etched with the finest tat-work of lacy tannin. It’s savoury, fruit driven, pure-feeling but lifted on fine spicy oak and glossy acidity. In essence, it drinks utterly superbly. It’s next level. It’s a new classic for Clonakilla. Glory be. Drink by: to 2035+; Price: $110.00; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 97 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front

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