Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2002
Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
The 2002 Shiraz Viognier is the eleventh edition of our flagship Shiraz blend. A great follow up to the all-conquering 2001. It shows striking purity of fruit with ripe dark cherry, raspberry, pepper and game characters interwoven with a complex layering of spices. 6% Viognier was added to the crush bringing a floral dimension to the bouquet and softening the abundant tannins of the Shiraz.
Clonakilla was established in 1971 by John Kirk, a Canberra based research scientist. Of Irish descent, John came to Australia with his young family in 1968 to work with the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. To his surprise despite the suitability of the environment their was no wine industry in there cool southern table lands of NSW around Canberra. To remedy this situation, in 1971 he bought a 44 acre farm near the village of Murrumbateman in New South Wales, 40 kilometres north of Canberra. The soil consisted of sandy clay loams over a friable clay subsoil and, with a climate not dissimilar to the Bordeaux region and Northern Rhone valley in France, he held high hopes for its wine producing potential. He proceeded to plant 1.2 acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. He named the property Clonakilla (‘meadow of the church’) after his grandfather’s farm in County Clare.
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About Other Australia
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales - New South Wales has a variety of smaller wine growing regions. Many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations, leading to the more encompassing designation of New South Wales.
Western Australia – A small percentage of Australia’s winemaking occurs on the West Coast. The largest Australian state, Western Australia, includes the appellations Margaret River and Great Southern.
Southeastern Australia – This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in Australia.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale
, Clare Valley
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
is best known for theYarra Valley
. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River
at the southern tip.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.