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.
Estate-grown, and co-fermented with 5% viognier. 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 shirazs. Drink by: 2032; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 98 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion
Some young wines take hours to declare their full greatness, churning and evolving for some time before finding themselves. Others possess such an effortless confidence and elegant balance that their full calibre is apparent in seconds. Even months before its October release, 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, rose bud, 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. Drink: 2023-2033; Rating: 98 Points; Tyson Stelzer; Wine Taste
Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace have become zoo exhibits, only (mostly) to be tasted in the captivity of organised wine dinners and industry events. We’re still in that blessed stage with Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier where it’s still OK to open a bottle at home with friends and enjoy it freely for what it is: an exquisitely crafted wine. Enjoy it while it lasts. 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 shtick. 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. Alcohol : 14%; Closure : Screwcap; Drink : 2015 - 2030; Rated: 96 Points; Campbell Mattinson
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