93-95 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "The full-bodied 2017 Griffon's Key Grenache (tasted out of 500-liter puncheon) boasts knockout aromatics of roses and black cherries. Sweetly ripe fruit, silky tannins and a long, zesty finish suggest this will be great shortly after release yet have the potential of aging for up to a decade."
Winemakers notes "Griffons are powerful and majestic creatures that have the body, tail and hind legs of a lion and the head, talons and wings of an eagle. They symbolise divine power and are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. The key held in the griffon’s beak is believed to refer to the griffon’s role as a guardian as well as the Kay name. We felt that symbolism of the Griffon matched this premium Grenache perfectly.
The fruit was hand-picked from a remarkably expressive parcel in the Amery vineyard. Artisanal winemaking ensures a rich, concentrated and powerful style reflecting its name and character. Tread carefully past the mythological ‘king of creatures’ and discover the drinking pleasure it is guarding.
The vineyard has a North-Eastern exposure. Soils are shallow red sandy loam over complex geology comprising quartz and ironstone gravels, weathered and calcareous sandstone, siltstone and limestone. Bud-burst was late but flowering conditions were mild and fruit set was quite good. Because of the mild summer temperatures vine canopies thrived with little stress compared to most years. The final ripening period was warm with cold nights, very favourable conditions for flavor development. Setting the scene for an outstanding high quality vintage.
The best parcels of hand-picked Grenache were selected from the Amery vineyard. Fruit was open fermented and hand plunged for 10 days on skins, prior to traditional basket pressing in our 1928 press. The wine matured a further 10 months in aged French oak puncheons."
One of Australia's most sophisticated Grenaches achieves a seamlessly even accord between exacting varietal definition, gorgeous fragrance, alluring fruit integrity and, most of all, a powder-fine, mineral tannin structure of the highest order. It coasts very long, undeterred in line and length.
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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