Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2016
Iconic release outstanding vintage. “.. this vintage sits confidently among the greatest syrahs on earth.”
What a remarkable jouney for Clonakilla. When John Kirk first planted vines in 1971 who would have thought it would be celebrated as one of Australia’s finest vineyards! Their first Shiraz Viognier was made in 1998 – by 2005 it was deemed ‘Outstanding’ in Langton’s Australian Wine Classification … by 2010 it was promoted to “Exceptional” .. up there with Grange and Hill of Grace! Murrumbateman & Canberra wine region is all about cool climate shiraz … complex layering of raspberry, violets, spice, cracked pepper, roast game with darker blackberry, blackcurrant and aniseed in warmer years. Clonakilla’s shiraz across the board including the Hilltops and O’Riada remind me of syrah at it’s best from famed ‘Cote Rotie’ in France’s Northern Rhone.
Winemaker Tim Kirk says about this vintage: “The Shiraz Viognier is our flagship, a careful selection of the best of the Shiraz Viognier parcels we craft from our Murrumbateman vineyard.
The 2016 vintage was generous and early. Late summer temperatures were consistently warmer than average and a larger than average crop proved to be a double blessing, slowing the ripening, which would have otherwise raced ahead, and filling the fermenters in our newly expanded winery with some of the most opulent, spice laden, dark berry fruit we have seen. A powerful vintage with great cellaring potential. 6% co-fermented viognier. 14% Alc/Vol”
So many glowing reviews!
James Halliday “When I tasted the upcoming release of the 2016 Shiraz Viognier, I was as transfixed as Kirk had been. It’s true that I had been enraptured by the 2015 (and the ’13, the ’12, the ’09, ’08, ’07…). It is among the very greatest Australian red wines, with a character all of its own … “ July 2017, in The Australian.
98 points, James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion 2018 “The perfumed, spicy bouquet with red flowers and fruits doesn’t prepare you for the intensity and piercing length of its 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 texture and structure.”
97 points, Tyson Stelzer, WBM Magazine “This is a shiraz viognier of the highest order with desperate purity of white pepper, whole bunch mixed spice and plum skin, and a super fine, gravelly tannin structure of breathtaking presence, yet unerring finesse. In enduring line, undeviating persistence and sheer, glorious beauty, this vintage sits confidently among the greatest syrahs on earth.”
96 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front … “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. Which of course is why it’s so good.
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.”
96 points, Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com “The detailed layering in this wine is superb, as is the measured expression of exuberant fruit. Aromas of baking spices, pepper and bright red berry and cherry fruits make for enticing youthful appeal. The palate has an incredibly silky and elegant appeal. Bright red cherry and plum fruits.”
Dave Brookes, The Adelaide Review “The epic 2015 release was a hard act to follow but they have backed it up with a jaw-droppingly beautiful wine. It is a pure dark and red fruit canvas dotted with hints of game, spice, herbs and violet. Supple and silky on the palate with great detail and poise, a gentle cascade of fine tannin provides support for the cellar.”
|Region or Country||
Australia, Canberra District