Photo: Clonakilla Winemaker Tim Kirk (David Reist)

The ‘Hilltops’ wine region is situated in the surrounds of one of our northerly neighbours – Young. Well known as the ‘Cherry Capital’ of Australia, the region has also become well known for its Cabernets and Chardonnays and increasingly Shiraz.

One of our leading light Yass Valley wine producers – Clonakilla – has well and truly cracked the code of this region’s Shiraz and routinely turns out top-notch Hilltops drops. This week’s ‘swirl’ is a great example of cool-climate Shiraz – the Clonakilla ‘Hilltops’ Shiraz 2021.

This Shiraz is a deep, dark red colour in the glass with bright purple at the edges. A swirl reveals intense aromas of blackberries, ripe cherries and black plums, with cool climate spice notes including a pinch of pepper and a shake of star anise. It’s medium-bodied with a silky-smooth palate, with black fruit flavours well balanced out with a lovely lick of acid and fine tannins.

We enjoyed our bottle with a Thai inspired beef salad with sweet chilli and roasted sesame sauce. The intense fruit flavours along with the acid and tannins proved a merry match.

A pump-over of the Hilltops Shiraz ferment

You could also enjoy this Shiraz with chargrilled lamb chops with sea salt, rosemary and garlic, or super-slow braised beef cheeks with rich tomato gravy.

I bought my bottle from the local wine selection at the Murrumbateman IGA, but you can also buy it for $28 online

The Cellar Door is open weekdays 11am – 4pm and weekends 10am – 5pm.

Easter Weekend: Closed Good Friday, Open Saturday, Sunday & Monday as usual.

By Brent Lello