Clonakilla Hilltops was a wine I drank a lot of in the 00s. The price to quality ratio was out of this world. When Tim Kirk called me up and said 2009 was possibly the best vintage he has seen, I did what any wine lover would. I order a dozen for my cellar. And here they are now.
Without a doubt Clonakilla is one of Australia’s greatest wineries. Best known for their hommage to Cote Rotie: Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier from the Canberra District. Savoury and complex Shiraz based wines are at the fore here. But they produce some amazing wines from multiple varieties, sources and blends.
This will still be youthful and fresh. Get a lot of air through it to show its full range of flavours. Serve at 16 degrees.
Game, charcuterie, roast red meat. It’ll all work well.
Although there is heritage back to 1840’s the region really started in 1970’s with experimental blocks being planted. The climate is cool and the elevation is between 300 and 800.Riesling and Shiraz are standout varieties with site determining what other varieties excel.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.