Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2009
$85, Screwcap, 14%
Well here it is. One of the most talked about wines of 2010 and also one of Clonakilla’s most popular wines of all time (even despite the price rise). This particular taste came from a sample bottle, but I also have another 2 residing in the cellar, which is where – given the state of this particular example – they will stay.
What marks this release though is just how lifted it is – no disguising the Viognier edged perfume here. It’s a proper cool climate Shiraz nose all the same, with some lovely Szechuan spice and pepper over glossy purple juice. There is plenty going on in fact with meat, florals and deeply spicy fruit all ringing positive for the future. What remains is just one question – is there too much Viognier? 6% in this blend and it certainly stands out quite prominently….
That Viognier etched juiciness doesn’t totally translate on to the palate though, which is properly grippy and firm, plush and sexy yet influenced by some whole bunch late bitterness. It’s the sort of wine where you pick up a little rawness through the back and can sense that intention lies beneath.
In fact the raw youthfulness is the only thing standing between this and vinous legend. For my mind there is too much Viognier, but experience says that in the years to come the V weed obviousness will just melt into the wine. The reassuring bit is the proper tannins and length.
Final verdict then? Cellar worthy. Probably even a great in the making. But the excitement is still to come (for me at least).