Monday, January 17, 2011


- Canberra District
- $29-$36
- Screwcap
- 14.0%alc

Clonakilla's typically floral, spicy, musky, perfumed and absolutely delicious take on Canberra District Shiraz Viognier stands as one of my most treasured interpretations of Australian wine. In that, I'm surely not alone.

In something of a rarity for Clonakilla, the 2009 Jack Reidy shows a rather obvious touch of viognier (6%) expressed via warm, heady scents of apricot and blueberry. Aside from that it also seems a shade riper than I expected (although it might just be the viognier), by presenting an underlying, rounded, generously fruited fragrance of juicy dark plums, cherries and perhaps even licorice backed by smooth, seasoned oak. Fortunately, the maker's trademark floral/spice notes make a statement through a suggestion of cinnamon stick, but it's certainly more reserved and far from defining. Throughout the relatively straight forward, medium-fullish palate it's all very smooth and quaffable, revealing silky, ripe but not over-ripe and sour-edged flavours of juicy dark/purple fruits that initially conceal its viognier quite well, but the white grape makes its presence felt stronger through the back palate in the way of baked apricot-like tones. As its viognier influence extends it finishes too soft, tart and simple, without the tannin/acid structures that typify Clonakilla's best.

O Clonakilla's smooth, pretty and very quaffable 2009 Jack Reidy should provide pleasant enough drinking over the short term, but only if you can handle the taste of viognier in your shiraz. For $35 it isn't exactly an accurate look into what the Clonakilla style is all about. Drink to 2014.
89 points

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