I tremble whenever a Clonakilla newsetter arrives, as much at the anticipation of its new releases as their unfortunate effect on my wallet. Yes, I’m somewhat of a junkie. I have especially enjoyed the Riesling over many vintages and consider Canberra Riesling in general one of our more interesting regional expressions of this variety.
To this fresh one, then, the nose seems quite typical at first, with floral, bath salt-like aromas, the strange of impression of chalk dust and very little of the full-throttle citrus juice that can characterise this variety from some other Australian regions. It’s actually quite piercing; almost aggressive, more so than I recall of previous vintages. The exhuberance of youth, perhaps, or something more essential? I’m not sure. Certainly, it’s settling a little in the glass and becoming less insistent, though also a tad indistinct too.
The palate is surprising because there’s a big whack of pineapple juice on the middle palate that isn’t at all signalled on the nose. But I’m getting ahead of myself. A clean entry, slippery and pleasing. Quickly, that intense sharpness from the nose (sulphur? slate? minerality?) asserts alongside surprisingly full tropical fruit and leaner citrus flowers. There’s good thrust through the after palate, with really delicious fruit flavours framed by savouriness and powdery texture. Indeed, texture is a highlight with this wine, roughing up the tongue with fine yet prominent acidity. A lovely, citrussy finish of good length.
This strikes me as somewhat atypical, at least according to my dodgy palate memory. It’s flavoursome, textural and lively; it’s also a bit disjointed, strident and, ultimately, poses more questions than it answers. I have a few of these in the cellar and will open another bottle in, say, a year’s time.