Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2016 ~ Southern Highlands NSW Australia
94/100 James Halliday
93/100 The Wine Front
James Halliday "perfectly balanced...always complex yet always with great mouthfeel 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."
Campbell Mattinson "Over time it has established a reputation as one of the most reliable go-to wines on the Australian wine landscape. 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."
Nick Stock "Plenty of ripe dark plum and blackberry fruits on the nose. Chocolate and mocha too. The palate has bright, mid-weight red plum and cherry fruits wrapped in lithe, supple tannins. Nice balance. Really approachable."
This wine is produced from five vineyards in the Hilltops District in New South Wales. Clonakilla is an Australian winery based in the Canberra wine region of Murrumbateman, New South Wales. Clonakilla was the first commercial winery to open in the region and founder John Kirk is often referred to as the "father" of the wine industry in the area. Clonakilla, which translates as "meadow of the church", are most famous for their Shiraz-Viognier. James Halliday describes it as paving "the way for numerous others to follow" and yet that it "remains the icon".
Hilltops is an Australian wine region of southern New South Wales, lying 80 miles (130km) north-west of Canberra. One of Australia's youngest wine regions, it is centered around the towns of Boorowa, Young and Harden, and the evocatively titled village of Wombat. The cool climate conditions here allow for the production of more elegant styles, notably of Chardonnay and Semillon for whites and Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon for reds. The climate is the result not only of Hilltops' distance from the Pacific coast (which brings about the cooler nights and winters), but also of its increased altitude. Almost all Hilltops vineyards are located above 1475ft (450m).