Wine review – Clonakilla’s sensational 2019 flagship

Clonakilla Canberra District Shiraz Viognier 2019 $110 cellar door

Tim Kirk says the warm 2019 vintage produced some of Clonakilla’s richest, darkest fruit on record. The resulting shiraz–viognier blend, while bigger than usual, retains the flagship’s familiar, medium-bodied, aromatic style.

We served it masked and our little tasting panel admired the wine’s floral aroma, supple structure and layered fruity–savoury flavours, oak included. They quickly recognised the wine’s origin, while noting the bigger-than-usual dimension, and assertive, harmonious interplay of fruit, oak and tannin.

Indeed, Tim Kirk says the power of the fruit (and an empty winery when smoke-taint aborted the 2020 vintage) encouraged him to give the wine an additional six months’ oak maturation. Our conclusion: the opulent fruit absorbed the oak, and the combination expanded the dimension of one of the world’s notable shiraz–viognier blends.

Clonakilla is a Canberra District winery, located at Murrumbateman, New South Wales, Australia.

Dr John Kirk, father of winemaker Tim Kirk, established the vineyard in 1971.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2021