"Exceptional" in the Langton's Classification of Australian wine.
96 James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion
"The bright hue and perfumed bouquet run true to type for this modern classic, setting the bar for the co-fermented blend several years ago. It has a set of flavours that are unique, and can fool even expert tasters in blind tastings, its cross-thatched flavours (not textures) need careful navigation." Reviewed March, 2015
95 Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
"The remarkable run of Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier continues. 95% shiraz/5% viognier. This release has a long life ahead. It’s so firm, so long, and has lots of meat on its bones. It’s savoury and peppery, essentially, but bursts too with black, ripe, soy-infused berries. Power, finesse, complexity and thick ribs of tannin. One thing it is not is sweet; though it compensates with abundant perfume. A roasted, nut-like character appears right there on the finish, like a glyph. Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier usually drinks well from the day of release; this one needs a little cellar time." Reviewed August, 2015
Rose petals and more rose petals – fragrant dark cherry too. The palate is so opulent and supple, with almost unbelievable length and finesse.’
The inventive and original Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier takes Australian shiraz in a completely new direction. A combination of a mature vineyard site, faith in nature and near-religious winemaking philosophies has resulted in a distinctive wine of extraordinary aromatic complexity, dimension, natural balance and completeness.
Doctor John Kirk planted a vineyard at Murrumbateman near Canberra in 1971. Kirk also planted a small plot of viognier in the mid 1980s, and the Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier came about in 1992 when Kirk’s fourth son, Tim Kirk, co-fermented the viognier fruit with shiraz. He also included a tiny amount of pinot noir and mataro in the early trial blend.
The fruit is now sourced from the best shiraz and viogner parcels of the Murrumbateman Vineyard. Located on a gentle fold of the cool southern tablelands at 600 metres above sea level, the soils are granitic, with sandy brown
and red loams over friable clay.
Traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques are applied to showcase the fruit flavours. Post vinification the wine is matured in new (33%) and seasoned French oak for around one year.