31st July, 2014 by Simon Howland
The 2013 Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier has scored 98 points in the latest edition of the Australian Wine Companion, beating the previous highest score ever awarded to a new current release wine.
Australian wine authority and author of the Wine Companion, James Halliday, awarded Canberra’s Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier 98 out of 100 which, according to the Canberra Times, winemaker Tim Kirk said was the highest score ever given to a new release vintage.
“Up to the last year or so the highest mark that James has ever given to a new release wine was 97. We’ve scored 97 points a couple of times and to break that record and move to a new echelon, once again confirms the Canberra Shiraz is up there with the big boys,” said Kirk.
Kirk said the new vintage was a result of miraculous conditions in the vineyards throughout the year.
He said: “It really is a fantastic vintage and we’ve been quietly excited since we saw the grapes coming in. Coming off the back of three more challenging vintages – we had very cold and very wet weather – 2013 seemed miraculous.”
“[It was] a return to the glory days of the noughties with the warm sunny days in autumn, rain at key points just when we needed, and a good size crop,” he said.
Kirk described the 2013 Shiraz Viognier as having, “beautiful red berry fruits mingling with the natural spiciness of the shiraz and perfect tannins.”
For Clonakilla to pull off this 98 out of a 100 from Halliday, it shows that Canberra Shiraz is just being seen as one of the greatest expressions of Shiraz in this country,” he said.
Kirk also praised other Canberra producers.
“This is proving to be a golden vintage for Canberra’s winemakers, Nick O’Leary of Collector Wines recently took home three trophies from the Brisbane Royal Show, including the Stodart Trophy, traditionally awarded to the best table red, for his 2013 shiraz,” he said.
After some negative attention relating to the prosecution of a member of parliament as reported in the drinks business, the plaudits cast a more welcome light on the region.