Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2016
“perfectly balanced…always complex yet always with great mouthfeel..”
What a remarkable jouney for Clonakilla. When John Kirk first planted vines in 1971 who would have thought it would be celebrated as one of Australia’s finest vineyards! Their first Shiraz Viognier was made in 1998 – by 2005 it was deemed ‘Outstanding’ in Langton’s Australian Wine Classification … by 2010 it was promoted to “Exceptional” .. up there with Grange and Hill of Grace! Murrumbateman & Canberra wine region is all about cool climate shiraz … complex layering of raspberry, violets, spice, cracked pepper, roast game with darker blackberry, blackcurrant and aniseed in warmer years. Clonakilla’s shiraz across the board including the Hilltops and O’Riada remind me of syrah at it’s best from famed ‘Cote Rotie’ in France’s Northern Rhone.
From winemaker, Tim Kirk … “This Shiraz is made from grapes selected from five vineyards in the Hilltops district around Young on the South Western Slopes of New South Wales. The 2016 vintage continues a run of warm vintages for the Hilltops region. The vineyards appear to take the heat in their stride however. The vines responded by producing rich black Shiraz with great depth of flavour. Drink now or cellar with confidence. This wine may surprise and delight you with five to ten years in the bottle. 14% Alc/Vol”
94 points, James Halliday “From five vineyards in Young, largely 1654 and PT23 clones, 2-3 days cold soak, mostly open-fermented with pneumatic pigeage, some whole bunches included, cultured yeast, 5-8 days post-ferment maceration, matured in French oak (15-20% new) for 11 months. The usual (if that be the right word) Clonakilla signature of perfectly balanced fruit, tannins and oak, always complex yet always with great mouthfeel, black fruits to the fore, with a gentle sprinkle of spice and pepper.”
93 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front “Over time it has established a reputation as one of the most reliable go-to wines on the Australian wine landscape. I’ve become less of a fan of Hilltops shiraz over the years – with exceptions of course – but this wine is almost always a hit.
It’s a little bit arms and legs at present but it’s getting there. Strings of tannin, herb notes, juicy stone fruit characters and assorted spices/peppers are all attractive in themselves, but aren’t yet pulling properly together. They will do. Indeed if anything this release is more complex than usual; more Clonakilla in a way. The fruit comes across as fresh, the cherried characters at the blacker end of the spectrum, the tannin fine and a little chalky. It’s going to turn out very well. Even another 12 months in bottle will do it a lot of good.”
Tyson Stelzer “Gosh there’s a lot of character and appeal tucked into this great value shiraz! Five Hilltops vineyards unite in layers of spice, violets and dark berries, laced together with classy polished, super fine tannins.”
|Region or Country||
Australia, Hilltops, NSW