Founded in Canberra in 1971 by Tim Kirk, Clonakilla have shot to fame in recent years and now, according to James Halliday they vie for the accolade of best Shiraz makers in Australia. This is from vineyards from the region of Hilltops near Young in New South Wales, the closest region to their Canberra base. Clonakilla's wines tend to have a lightness of touch and a textural element that gives them brilliant balance as well as great varietal flavour.
The grapes for this Shiraz were selected from three vineyards in the Hilltops district around Young in New South Wales, the Canberra District’s closest neighbouring wine region. The altitude is marginally lower than Canberra so the grapes tend to come in around two weeks before those grown on the estate. Soils are deep red loam over light clay, giving distinctive blackberry and blackcurrant notes to the wine, more reminiscent of the Northern Rhône than the Barossa Valley.
2015 saw a return to the warm, sun-bathed seasons experienced through the 2000s. The days were warm and the nights cool, a weather pattern that has given the wine great colour, deep aroma and perfectly formed tannins.
The grapes were destemmed and fermented warm together with no bunches. The wine was matured for 11 months in French oak, 15% of which was new. The wine was racked once during its maturation in oak and bottled in late February 2016.
There are plenty of signature ‘Hilltops‘ dark fruit flavours to enjoy here, including cherries and blackberries. The wine has fine grained tannins and a racy acidity. A delight to drink now, but ten years of lying down will do it no harm.