96 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com)
Bay leaf, violets and peppery spice mark the nose of the 2016 Shiraz Block 6, produced from vines planted in 1892. It's full-bodied, creamy and supple, then it turns rich and velvety on the long finish. The texture this year really sets it apart, while the flavors of boysenberry and blackberry are wonderfully accented by hints of cracked pepper.
Winemakers notes "The 2016 vintage is the 32nd release of our flagship wine, handpicked from the original 1892 planting. Long held in high esteem as one of McLaren Vale’s finest Shiraz plantings, Block 6 Shiraz continues the tradition at Kay Brothers of producing full bodied red wines that have the grace and pedigree to age for decades. Handpicked and fermented in the original open top fermenters, Block 6 Shiraz is a wine of great strength, deep complexity and amazing vibrancy.
The Block 6 vineyard was planted by Frederick and Herbert Kay in 1892 and faces east. Rows run north south with significant undulation. The vines are cane pruned with the canes wrapped onto the top wire of the low lying trellis. The present 3.5 acres comprises a corner of red loam, some heavy clay in the middle of the block and gravely alluvial soils on the lower side. The underlying “South Maslin Sands” geology is extremely complex containing layers of glauconite, limestone, sandstone and siltstone. This elegant example of McLaren Vale Shiraz is matured for 23 months in 40 % new French and American oak puncheons."
The French call it ‘partimoine’ but in the realm of the Kay Brothers, it’s simply tradition. And their tradition is to produce full bodied, fruit driven red wines with unabashed confidence. Being the oldest family run estate still to exist in McLaren Vale since acquiring their Amery vineyard in 1891, the Kay Brothers estate is revered both home and abroad for its loyalty to their traditions as well as their ability to produce fantastic wines for more than a century. Of note, however, is the fact that they were one of the first to embrace screwcaps in Australia with all of the winery’s production bottled under this closure today. With such a long history of winemaking, at the disposal of the winemaking team is an enviable stock of old vine Shiraz yielding immensely concentrated berries which are used in the two superior bottlings, Hillside Amery Shiraz and Block 6 Shiraz. Coming from the same terroir what sets them apart is the more favourable position occupied by the Block 6 plantings. Widely regarded as the junior sibling of the two, the Hillside Amery Shiraz is more approachable when young and offers comforting drinking whilst waiting for the grand Block 6 Shiraz to mature. Medium tannins, dried fruit and aniseed notes are usually complemented by a full-bodied weight that manages to deliver an extraordinarily balanced wine.
Reviewed in early 2014 by eminent Master of Wine, Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate, the 2005 vintage of Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz received an astounding 97 points with an estimated drinking window of up to 2024. Hand-picked fruit for this wine comes from the original vines planted in 1892 with fermentation taking place in original open-top fermenters.
McLaren Vale is situated south of The Barossa Valley in South Eastern Australia. The local climates vary enormously according to altitude and exposure to the cooling sea breezes. Red grapes flourish here due to the warm climate and varied soil type and the region is best known for soft and juicy Shiraz, old-vine Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The climate is similar to that of the Mediterranean climate with four clear seasons. We can highly recommend the producers Kay Brothers, Clarendon Hills and Shirvington Estate from whom we have some fantastic wines.
Zalto Denk-Art White Wine Glass
For elegant, classical fruit forward white wines, but also medium bodied red wines without overt barrique development.
Ideally for: All White Wines, Chardonnay / Viognier, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chablis, Muskateller, Frizzante, St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch.
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