McWilliam's Hilltops Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
The wines made by McWilliam’s are more than just benchmark expressions of Australian winemaking. They are wines that draw on more than 135 years of experience, wines that tell a story of a family’s passion for winemaking.
Since the time Samuel McWilliam planted his first vines, the McWilliam family history has been closely intertwined with the stories of the New South Wales and Australian wine industries. From JJ McWilliam’s ambitious plan to pioneer Griffith as a wine region to more recent viticultural ventures in other parts of New South Wales, the McWilliam family has been a leader in the journey that has seen Australian wines move to the forefront of international respect and popularity. From humble beginnings, the family winery has continued to grow in size and stature. The knowledge, skill and passion that results from such a long family involvement in the Australian wine industry is the reason behind the quality and distinction of each bottle of wine produced by McWilliam’s.
A philosophy of excellence in winemaking has been the backbone of the family vision for over a century, with a particular emphasis on sourcing the finest fruit possible. The continued popularity and acclaim for the wines of McWilliam’s is testament to an unfaltering mission that has been carried from each generation to the next, like a family heirloom.
Today, McWilliam’s sources from vineyards in premium wine regions across New South Wales, including the Riverina, Hilltops, Tumbarumba and Orange. The family has honoured Samuel McWilliam’s faith in the value of the New South Wales land and climate by continuing to lead and further the growth of the local wine industry.
Scattered among the yellow hills, orchards and olive groves of the Hilltops region are some of Australia’s most friendly, down-to-earth wineries. While it’s a bit warmer than its northeastern neighbor, Orange, the cool summer nights and dry fall season in Hilltops allow relatively late harvest dates and thus the production of a wide range of wines. Hilltops produces powerful reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz as well as charming Chardonnays and food-friendly Semillons.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.