Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2015 ~ Canberra Region, Australia
Nick Stock 99/100
James Halliday 98/100
Mike Bennie 97/100
Huon Hooke 96/100
Only 10-15 Australian wines each year are awarded 99/100 points from top wine critics - this is one of them!
Winemaker of the Year 2013
Nick Stock "Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier is now every bit as important to the story of great Australian wine as Henschke Hill of Grace and Penfolds Grange.."
James Halliday "It is a thinker's wine, it stops you, draws you in and captivates. Incredibly detailed and floral-scented, the sumptuous and finely poised palate is a masterpiece."
Mike Bennie "This wine is on song. I’m taken. In essence, it drinks utterly superbly. It’s next level. It’s a new classic for Clonakilla. Glory be."
James Halliday "[Winemaker] 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. Tim Kirk is continuing to refine and explore the myriad of possibilities from this great site. Increasingly turning to higher proportions of whole bunches in the fermentations, he is getting greater and greater detail in his flagship wine. "
Nick Stock "The latest vintage, 2015, is without a doubt the best to date in a long line of excellent vintages…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.......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"
Mike Bennie "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......Great season for growing grapes if you had your ducks in a row in Canberra District. Last visit to Clonakilla I did a broad tasting of components that go into the Shiraz Viognier and I was taken back by how many parts make up the whole – it’s a very intricate wine, takes TLC of the highest order to come together. The 2015 wine sees higher than usual whole bunch component (and it is notable, and a very good inclusion) in the ferment, with 20-30% whole bunch in each ferment.
Huon Hooke "Deep, bright red/purple colour; youthful and fresh and it smells likewise, with lifted spicy, floral aromatics. Stems are evident, adding to the fragrance without being domineering. It's intense and medium to full-bodied on the palate, coating the mouth's interior with fine, soft tannins. It's beautifully balanced towards its extended finish. Delicious wine already, but it has the makings of a top bottle if cellared. There's an amazing array of spice aromas and flavours. Lovely stuff."
Clonakilla is an Australian winery based in the Canberra wine region of Murrumbateman, New South Wales. Clonakilla was the first commercial winery to open in the region and founder John Kirk is often referred to as the "father" of the wine industry in the area.
Clonakilla, which translates as "meadow of the church", are most famous for their Shiraz-Viognier. James Halliday describes it as paving "the way for numerous others to follow" and yet that it "remains the icon".