Tag Archives: Clonakilla

2008 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier

Clonakilla 2008 Shiraz Viognier

On the weekend we unscrewed the cap on a lovely bottle of the 2008 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier.  A wine of this pedigree is found rarely, so we have nearly a case on hand; it is always a joy to experience – and to review.

In fact, we drank the entire bottle in a single session, and since it was so refreshingly crisp and tasty we didn’t pair it to dinner; we simply opened and rank it after dinner as “dessert”. 

Tasting Notes:

We decanted the wine into a Riedel Amadeo decanter to give the wine an opportunity to breathe for a little while before the first pour.  The wine’s colour was a pleasant dark red (see pictures, below), with a medium body which provided a degree of viscosity after swirling in the (large) glass.  The bouquet was tantalizingly sweet, the wine had traces of plum and perhaps a chocolaty (sultana inspired?) quality with subtle spice, oak and a well rounded finish courtesy of the viognier.

We can’t wait to see which direction this vintage will take with further aging! 

Recommended to drink now and for the next 10+ years.

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier    Clonakilla 2008 Shiraz Viognier Tasting Notes

Some Recommended Canberra Wineries


There are a lot of very good wineries in the Canberra region, and it’s our intention to visit them all in the not too distant future.  Having said that, there are some standout local producers who warrant highlighting for either the consistent high quality of their wine or the pleasantness of their cellar doors. 

Sometimes this might apply to both!  Note that this is just a limited selection of the many brilliant wine producers in the region; look out for an updated list in coming months.

Note that if you are a local Canberra wine producer and would like to get in touch, Aussie Wine Guy (and associates) are very keen to chat with local producers.  We’d like to learn more about the challenges facing the region in recent times, and to also discover any new varieties being grown (or experimented with!).

Some Canberra Region Cellar Doors

Brindabella Hills

Brindabella Hills

End of Woodgrove Close, via Hall NSW 2618

Nestled in the hills between Canberra and Murrumbateman not far from the idyllic village of Hall, and just down the road from Pankhurst is the tidy vineyard of Brindabella Hills.  It’s a nice stop dropping in on the cellar door and Brindabella Hills are always producing something interesting. 

Their wines are priced in the more moderate $20-$30/bottle range, and the wines themselves are fairly consistently rating around the high 80s to low 90s on the 100-point scale.  We originally ventured here a few years ago drawn by the fairly budget friendly Sauvignon Blanc, but right now their wines are drinking across the board.



3 Crisps Lane Murrumbateman NSW 2582

Aussie Wine Guy and associates are quite fond of the wine coming out of this standout Murrumbateman vineyard, which has seen great success in the past six years with their Shiraz Viognier, Syrah and Canberra District Shiraz (the O’Riada), 

The cellar door sits in the middle of the large property, and is an easy drive from the Nation’s capital.  The staff are always friendly and take the time to help visitors through the tasting list.  The member’s mail out means less need to visit the cellar door in person, but there’s substitute for your own personal reconnoitre.

Eden Road

Eden Road Wines

3182 Barton Highway Murrumbateman NSW 2582

Another Murrumbateman property receiving a lot of attention; Eden Road sits just off the busy Barton Highway which links the capital with the smaller town of Yass.  We originally encountered this wine when it was being produced from the Eden Valley property, which is no longer associated. 

That said, you’d be terribly surprised to learn that the NSW property is producing a superb Shiraz, grown locally in the Canberra region.  The real bargain though, is their Hilltops Shiraz which is a steal at around $20 a bottle.  If you happen to be heading towards Murrumbateman, then it’s worth heading off the highway to call in.

Lark Hill

Lark Hill

Corner of Bungendore Rd & Joe Rocks Rd Bungendore, NSW 2621

Having recently visited the winery, we have to heartily endorse the excellent wines being made from this Bungendore area estate.  Not too far off the Federal highway, it’s worth the diversion if only to check out the biodynamic wine and the highly tempting Auslese Riesling. 

Tasting here costs $5 per person, but comes off any purchases made at the cellar door.  The estate also features a restaurant which has a superb setting looking out over the rows of vines.  The staff were very friendly and amiable, made for a very pleasant visit.

Lerida Estate

Lerida Estate

The Vineyards, Old Federal Highway, Lake George, NSW, 2581

We’ve driven past this area, west of Lake George, so many times.  As it turns out, the vineyard has a number of locations around the area although the principal seems to be just south of the small town of Collector (which is north of Lake George). 

The estate produces a wide variety of wines in the Canberra region style, with quality generally varying from good to excellent and prices in the $20-$40 range.  The principal location looks out over majestic Lake George and also has Cafe Lerida – so you can also stop for a delicious meal.

Mount Majura

Mount Majura Vineyard

314 Majura Road, Majura, ACT 2609

The Mount Majura vineyard is a rare example of a vineyard which is actually located within the Australian Capital Territory itself!  Just east of the Federal highway as you drive into the Territory, the vineyard is north-east facing and occupies a good portion of the side of the mountain. 

The vineyard produces some very fine white wine (which we tasted last year at the NSW wine awards) as well as an array of Canberra region favourites. 

Again, wine here is priced between $20 – $40 a bottle, most being in the low $20 range.  A very nice place to visit, and so convenient being literally just a few minutes off the highway.


Coming Up..

Later on Aussie Wine Guy we’ll be cracking open a bottle from Hunter Valley producer Brokenwood
It’s a 1996 HBA Shiraz and we’ve had it down for about five years.   The HBA is a blend of the best of seasonal Graveyard (Hunter) and Rayner (McLaren Vale). 
According to the Brokenwood site, it’s easily at drinking age, so stay tuned for the results.