Posts Tagged ‘Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz’

Spitting: Optional

Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2010

Vintage: 2010

Country: Australia

Region: Hilltops, NSW


Overview: Finally, a Shiraz has entered Spitting: Optional’s midst. It’s not that I don’t like Shiraz, I quite enjoy it. The reason why I don’t drink a whole lot of it is because Shiraz is, normally, consistently good. I know that sounds strange but whenever I’ve tasted in a blind tasting the Shiraz bracket is always the largest and always the most consistent and I believe it is the imperfect things in life that make for the most interesting objects. What I’m trying to say is that if a winemaker has good Shiraz fruit than that translates into a good wine but because of this a lot of winemakers use minimal winemaking techniques when handling Shiraz which means the winemakers personality does not shine through when we are presented with a finished product. The other reason why I don’t drink a whole lot of Shiraz is that it’s just so popular and I am known to pull against the tides of popularity. For example you will never catch me reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or watching Harry Potter movies.

The great thing about Shiraz is that it’s so expressive. It displays the characters of where it is grown without even trying. This is what I had in my head when I tried the Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz. Typically a Hilltops Shiraz shows vibrant blueberry characters and white pepper. This what was I was expecting with the Clonakilla but found it far more complex and brooding than anything I’ve come across from this region before.

Tasting note: A nose of vanilla, blueberry and white pepper. The palate is a brooding mix of blackberry, blueberry, white pepper, rich chocolate and a nice flint like character. The soft tannins give this wine a silky mouth-feel.


Final Say: I let this wine decant for 6 hours before drinking just because of its youth but the nose was very expressive even when I first opened the bottle. It sells for around $28 a bottle and will make a great addition to the cellar. I’m a big fan of this Canberra based producer and they keep kicking some great goals.


Score: 18 out of 20 (90 out of 100)

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Jack Davis

Spitting: Optional