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|Region||New South Wales|
Located in the Canberra District, the Clonakilla shiraz vineyard was planted by John Kirk in 1971, against the advice of others who insisted that the area was too cool for planting shiraz. He released his first wines in 1976, and continued on after a booming success. Along the way, the entire family was involved in the operation, helping build the original winery and suggesting new plantings. His brother took a trip to the Northern Rhône, tasting many wines there, and was blown away by the syrah/viognier blends. John’s father had planted viognier, and was excited to start working on single-varietal viognier, but the brother insisted that they attempt a co-ferment with shiraz as he had seen in the Côte Rôtie. The family, consumers, and critics all loved the results, starting a movement for creating these kinds of wines in Australia. This wine is layered and complex, the high altitude and cooler climate showing through in the bright acidity and red berry notes, while still being powerful and structured. There is a definite note of pepper, but it is more white pepper than black, and there are balanced floral and oak aromas expressions as well.