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Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2014

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    Clonakilla is an Australian winery located in the Canberra wine region of Murrumbateman, New South Wales. The winery was founded by Dr. John Kirk AM, an Irish biochemist who immigrated to Australia from the United Kingdom in 1968 to work as a research scientist at the CSIRO. The first vintage from the region was produced in 1976, and Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier has since become one of the most iconic Australian wines. The Shiraz Viognier blend was first introduced by Clonakilla in 1992, inspired by Tim Kirk's visit to the Rhône Valley in France. The wine is a blend of Shiraz and Viognier grapes, with the Viognier adding a floral and aromatic complexity to the wine. Clonakilla's Shiraz Viognier has received numerous accolades, including being named Wine of the Year by James Halliday in 2010 and receiving a perfect score from Robert Parker in 2015. In addition to Shiraz Viognier, Clonakilla produces other red and white wines, including Riesling, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is known for its commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices and has received numerous awards for its environmental stewardship. Clonakilla is a winery with a rich history and a reputation for producing some of the best wines in Australia.

    Clonakilla wines are known for their elegance, balance and complexity. The winery's signature Shiraz Viognier blend is a perfect example of this style, with the Shiraz providing structure and depth, while the Viognier adds a floral and aromatic complexity to the wine. Clonakilla's red wines are typically medium-bodied with a bright acidity and soft tannins. They are often described as being fruit-driven, with flavors of dark berries and plums, and a subtle spiciness. The winery's white wines, on the other hand, are crisp and refreshing with a mineral-driven character and flavors of citrus and stone fruit. Clonakilla wines are characterized by their balance and finesse. They are not overly alcoholic or extracted, and are made with a minimalist approach to winemaking. The winery's commitment to sustainable and organic farming practices also contributes to the unique style of their wines, which are often described as having a sense of place and terroir.

    The Shiraz Viognier blend is a classic wine style that originated in the Rhône Valley of France and has since become popular in other wine regions around the world, particularly in Australia. The blend typically consists of Shiraz (also known as Syrah) and Viognier grapes, with the Viognier usually making up a small percentage of the blend. The addition of Viognier to Shiraz can have a significant impact on the resulting wine. Viognier is a white grape variety that is known for its floral and aromatic qualities, and when blended with Shiraz, it can add a perfume-like aroma to the wine, as well as lift the color and enliven the flavors. The Viognier also contributes a silky texture to the wine and can help to balance the tannins in the Shiraz. In Australia, the Shiraz Viognier blend has become particularly popular, with many wineries producing their own versions of the wine. The style is particularly well-suited to the warm climate of many Australian wine regions, where Shiraz is a common grape variety.

    The Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2014 is a true testament to the resilience of the vines in the Murrumbateman vineyard of the Canberra district of New South Wales. Despite facing several challenges, including an October frost, November hail, a late-January heat wave and April rain, the Shiraz Viognier is a selection of the best parcels of Shiraz and Viognier, perfectly crafted to produce a fragrant and dark-fruited wine. On the nose, the wine is complex and inviting, with notes of spice box, cedar, dark fruit, orange blossom, acacia, violet, anise and mint. On the palate, the wine is equally impressive, with flavors of currant, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, honey, orange, mango, kiwi and tangerine. The 5% co-fermented Viognier adds a touch of elegance to the wine, perfectly balancing the power of the Shiraz. The Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2014 is a wine of exceptional quality, showcasing the unique terroir of the Murrumbateman vineyard. It is a wine that can be enjoyed now or aged for several years, as it is perfectly poised on the mid-point between elegance and power.

    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. - James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 96 Points

    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. - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Fron, 95 Points

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal -  Shiraz, Viognier
    Country - Australia
    Region - Murrumbatmen, New South Wales
    Vintage - 2014
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13.5%