When I was much younger I attended a dinner with Jeremy Oliver at Matteo’s where we drank some gorgeous Australian wines. One of the highlights was the first release of the Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier Pinot Noir. At the time it would have been 10-12 years old and I just wanted a lot more of that wine. I’m not sure if any Pinot goes in these days but the wine does still age and evolve as gracefully as the 1992 did. And here this wine is, almost 10 years old from a vintage that Tim Kirk declared was possibly his best ever.
Without a doubt Clonakilla is one of Australia’s greatest wineries. Best known for their hommage to Cote Rotie: Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier from the Canberra District. Savoury and complex Shiraz based wines are at the fore here. But they produce some amazing wines from multiple varieties, sources and blends.
It is still young, lots of air will help this wine to find its legs. Keep it below 18 degrees.
Roast beef, roast lamb, rabbit. The pepper in the wine will match well with a lot of flavours.
Although there is heritage back to 1840’s the region really started in 1970’s with experimental blocks being planted. The climate is cool and the elevation is between 300 and 800.Riesling and Shiraz are standout varieties with site determining what other varieties excel.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.