At the risk of turning Full Pour into the Clonakilla Wine Appreciation Society, I cracked open a bottle of the 2005 Hilltops Shiraz this evening. On its release, I remember liking this wine a great deal, more so than the subsequent vintage at least, and finding it especially dense and serious. So, it’s with particular relish that I am checking in on its progress.
It’s certainly moved on since release. Not that it’s looking tired at all; this wine has just relaxed enough to allow its fruit fuller expression. The nose is a dense rush of violetty, dark berry fruit mixed with some savoury, meaty edges. There’s perhaps a hint of stalk too, though it’s certainly in the background. This label usually strikes me as displaying what I characterise as purple fruit. To elaborate, in my mind it’s a cross between frozen berry desserts and Hubba Bubba Original Flavour; in other words, a little sweet but mostly intense and delicious. Here, now, the fruit is moving freely, structure having relaxed enough to let berry juice flow into the mouth. It maintains poise and an element of restraint, though. There are cough medicine complexities too, quite high toned and aromatic, plus some lovely cumquat-like citrus. Vanilla oak provides a soft and cuddly backdrop. The palate is notably voluminous from entry to finish, with nary a dip in intensity. A very long finish.
A generous, truly delicious wine. For my taste, I’d like to see some more bottle age show itself here, as I feel some decay and additional flow will add extra beauty to this wine’s flavour profile. This label really tends to blossom after about five years; I’ll try another in two to three years.