Clonakilla O'Riada Shiraz 2007

Many enthusiasts will be familiar with the reason for this wine’s existence. Clonakilla’s estate crop was devastated by the elements in 2007, prompting the release of this wine, made from non-Estate (though still Canberra region) fruit. A small amount of Viognier was cofermented here too.

Typical Canberra Shiraz on the nose, with a big hit of spicy red fruit that projects edgy sweetness alongside more elegant, savoury notes. This really is very spicy, with black peppercorns and more exotic notes that tend almost towards potpourri. Expressive, characterful and, to me, seductive.

The palate emphasises savouriness, relegating the sweet red fruit to an intriguing supporting role. Masses of flavour immediately on entry, there’s a good deal of acidity to tingle and refresh the tongue. The fact that it’s light to medium bodied, and quite angular in structure, only serves to intensify the fruit flavours, though it also suggests some time in bottle will be beneficial. There are crunchy red fruits, spice galore and a delicious barbecued meat dimension. Tannins are very fine and evenly distributed, such that there’s considerable dryness on the finish without any obviousness of tannin. Good extension through the after palate and finish.

I really like Canberra Shiraz so I suppose I’m biased towards this wine’s flavour profile and weight. Having said that, it’s an especially good example of the breed, perhaps lighter and more acid driven than some, but with ample flavour and good typicit√©. Really well priced.

Clonakilla
Price: $A35
Closure: Stelvin
Date tasted: November 2008

2 thoughts on “Clonakilla O'Riada Shiraz 2007

  1. Excellent, I’ve been wondering about this one. I did not know about the co fermentation with viognier though. Any thoughts on how it compares to the Hilltops?

    • Yeah, neither did I until I read the back label. 2% Viognier, apparently. It’s not terribly obvious in the mouth, but for perhaps a certain silky texture.

      This is a completely different wine from the Hilltops in style. Whereas the latter is quite a powerful, weighty Shiraz with dense flavour, this is much more Canberra, light to medium bodied, elegant, angular, bright, etc. Both fab.

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