Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier 2019


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“The 2019 Shiraz Viognier is from a low-yielding (down around 15% to 20%), warm and dry year with some well-timed summer rain that allowed the vines to produce bright, lively fruit. The warm year brought higher alcohol with it (14.6% alcohol as opposed to the 13.2% of 2021), but the same 6% Viognier inclusion remains. The wine was matured for 18 months in French oak. Where the 2021 is bright, delicate and lacy, this 2019 is denser, muscular and layered with dark, brooding, exotic spices, cocoa nib, licorice root, roasted meat rind and tobacco leaf. In the mouth, the tannins are the most pertinent feature: still powdery fine and shapely, earthy (black) and savory. At no point does any feature of the wine break ranks. There are no strays, no breakaways; this is seamless and contained from all angles. It is an astounding wine and proof that very quickly after release these wines morph into shades of what they will become in older age. Drink: 2022-2039. 95+ points

Clonakilla is an iconic producer in Australia, from a region that is a little off the beaten track. Murrumbateman, in the Canberra District, is a special place that is known for powerful, detailed Shiraz wines, perhaps off the back of the success of Clonakilla. The Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier wines on release are pretty, detailed, fine and persistent, with a structural clarity in the mouth that pins them to the mast and says, “I am Clonakilla.” Their legend has been built on the shoulders of the old wines of the past, and they have proven their ability to repay decades of careful cellaring. Thankfully, the advent of the Stelvin closure will ensure the wines remain pristine for a long time to come. Special wines, collectable wines.”

Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate (11/22)