The 2016 Syrah is simply one of the greatest wines we have made.
Long time mailing list members will remember that the first Clonakilla Syrah we released was the 2006.
Our thinking was to have a second great wine that could challenge Hermitage in the Northern Rhone in the same way the Shiraz Viognier now gives good Cote Rotie a run for its money.
The Syrah always comes from the same parcel of vines on our vineyard, a wedge of North East facing vines perfectly positioned to catch the warmth of the sun for most of the day. The warm aspect means the Syrah often carries a darker, more brooding signature than the Shiraz Viognier.
The way we make the wine differs too. We leave out the 20-30% whole bunch addition that is standard in our SV ferments and of course for the Syrah we add no Viognier for co-fermentation. It is simply pure Shiraz grapes, destemmed but not crushed, fermented by their own natural yeasts, left for a full months on skins and then two years in 500 litre fine-grained French oak barrels.
Here is what Huon Hooke had to say about the 2016:
This is a wine of rare beauty. The colour is bright but not dark, and the aroma is spicy, vegetal, foresty and ultra-complex. Medium-bodied, intense and superbly textured, it has soft, gentle tannins and great elegance. Its appeal grows with every sip. It has an effortless natural charm.
Score: 97 ★★★★★