Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2010 (Hilltops, NSW)
14%, Screwcap, $25
Source: Cellar Door
This has no right to be this good. I mean, the 2010 vintage was a hard one in Canberra/Hilltops (though slightly easier in the Hilltops) and characterised by cold, wet weather and random outbreaks of mildew and widespread Botrytis, all of which made for quite variable crops and de-rigueur bunch-by-bunch sorting.
|Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2010|
Yet this smells good. It’s spicier, Rhonier, lighter and much more fragrant than in previous years, smelling of red cherry fruit, violets and stems. In fact it smells much more Canberran than Hilltops-y and with a colour to match (Actually, all I can think about is my wine when I stick my nose in the glass). Anyway, it’s a good smelling wine, albeit a different one to the chunky/ typical Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz. Oh and did I mention it needs a decant to smell ‘right’? The red fruit (and the oak richness) only comes out with some air, otherwise it’s a slightly skinny smelling thing dominated by a bit of dandelion/herbal/spicy whole bunch Shiraz fruit thang.
As for the palate, again it’s a fraction reticent, but also polished and pure. Light to medium bodied, high in acidity, genuinely savoury and not fruit sweet, it again has that glace cherry meets peppercorn, my-address-is-in-Murrumbateman style and a pointed, fresh finish.
In anyone else’s hands I can’t imagine that this would be anywhere as near as good as it is. That juiciness, that cherries meet late acidity meets light tannin balance has great winemaker written all over it.
I like this. It needs air though (or it can look a bit too lean) and it’s not for everyone. But I like it. 17.6/92