Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2013 (Canberra district)
14%, Screwcap, $95
Clonakilla’s most famous wine and probably the best release of the last couple of vintages. The only problem? It’s way too young. Too young to really love as yet, and seems quite backward and structure driven, but no doubt it is going to be a top wine with age. Really important plus signs (though its not released for a little while yet).
As ever, this has nose-catching aromatics – black pepper, white pepper, a hint of meaty whole bunch stalks, violets, prosciutto a little Canberra dandelion. Interestingly, the Viognier looks much better integrated than in some recent vintages, with no suggestion of tinned peach like we see in some vintages (which always makes the Shiraz Viognier stand out in blind tastings).
On the palate, the oak sweetness starts early but it quickly gets darker, more bitter and even a bit dried towards the end. The entry is lovely, but the back end suggests ageworthiness, not immediacy, the tannins whole-bunch firm and carrying some power.
A ‘slow burner’, I loved smelling this but the palate didn’t quite cooperate. The quality, though, is unassailable (and a better wine than 2011 or 2012). Just don’t drink it now.
Tasted: August 2014
Score: 18.5/20, 94/100+
Would I buy it? I’m a Clonakilla Syrah man normally, but this will undoubtedly look good in 5 years time. I’d buy a bottle or two of this and wait for the 2013 Syrah to go the six pack purchase.
Buy online: Clonakilla website