93 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "The 2016 Hillside Shiraz is slated for an October 2018 release. The cool vintage has given it wonderfully spicy aromas of pepper, clove and bay leaf, in addition to its customary boysenberry and blueberry shadings. Full-bodied rich and concentrated, it's creamy on the mid-palate, turning silky on the long finish."
Winemakers notes "A classic example of full bodied McLaren Vale Shiraz. The Hillside vineyard was established in 1992 using cuttings from the century old Block 6. Unlike Block 6, the Hillside Shiraz allows Kay Brothers to pick various parcels of fruit so as to assemble the best blend possible. Block 11, located at the top of the hill, has shallow sandy loam soil over limestone and sandstone. These vines are very exposed to the wind and sun. As a consequence, the vines mature earlier in most years and tend to be low yielding, with intense fruit concentration and powerful tannins.
The rest of the Hillside Shiraz is located farther down the hill, in New Block 6, where dark chocolate loam and clay soil dispersed with quartz and ironstone over silty limestone. The New Block 6 component provides the finesse and elegance to the overall blend with savoury flavours and tight structure.
Matured for 23 months in American and French oak, the block 11 component was fermented and matured in a large French oak foudre (holding 5400L). The blend of these two vineyards balances each other extremely well."
The 2016 Hillside Shiraz is slated for an October 2018 release. The cool vintage has given it wonderfully spicy aromas of pepper, clove and bay leaf, in addition to its customary boysenberry and blueberry shadings. Full-bodied rich and concentrated, it's creamy on the mid-palate, turning silky on the long finish.
Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com)
"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"
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.
"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."
Nestled between the Mount Lofty and the Sellicks Ranges to the north east and south and the white sandy beaches on coast to the west, McLaren Vale’s winemaking history dates back to the 1830’s and the geological features surrounding the region are the key influences to its wine-making credentials. A relatively low lying, warm region with plenty of sunshine, plantings range between 50 and 150 metres and the climate is tempered by winds blowing through the foothills from the east and from the sea to the south west. These factors are responsible for the vast range of styles and varieties within Mclaren Vale, showcased by producers like Clarendon Hills who have a portfolio of wines that cover the diversity in sub-regions, vineyards and grape varieties across the region. It is these distinct sub-regions and variations between them that have been in discussion recently with a call to officially classify them, in order to recognize the specific identities of each micro-climate. This will eventually lead to producers being able to use these distinct terms on their labels, drawing further attention to the diversity across the region.
Early vines were planted here by names that have now become iconic in Australian wine. James Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted some of the earliest vines in 1938 and since then, the Hardy’s name has been intrinsically linked to Australian wine production. Kay Brothers is the oldest family run estate to still be operation in McLaren Vale, dating back to 1891 when they planted their first vines in the now legendary Amery vineyard. Production from these ancient vines continues today and plays a vital role throughout the Kay Brothers portfolio, yielding Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon of great depth and concentration. Since the 1990’s, Mclaren Vale’s reputation has sky-rocketed with the emergence of the boutique wineries such as Two Hands who, as well as in Barossa, have identified single plots and vineyards that further showcase the unique identity of McLaren Vale wines.
Around 50% of McLaren Vale plantings is Shiraz with many vines reaching 100 years old or more and harvesting extremely low crops of highly concentrated grapes, capable of producing deep, powerful wines that are very long lived. Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted variety creating structured wines that show intense blackcurrant flavours and cedar flavours, the cooler sites offering aromas of menthol, and licorice. McLaren Vale Cabernet has many similarities in style to wine from the northern Medoc and with age, these wines can gain great complexity and develop classic aromas and flavours of cigar box and pencil lead as they age. Grenache also has significant role to play either as a single variety or giving support to Shiraz in Rhone style blends. On it’s own it can be responsible for powerful, full bodied wines rich in black berry and luscious plum fruits. With the huge sub-regional diversity across McLaren Vale, it is no surprise that producers have identified specific sites that yield the highest quality Grenache and emphasize its qualities. Blewitt Springs is home to many old Grenache vines which are recognised for their intensity and power and Clarendon Hills are among the list of winemakers that recognized and exploited this.
Zalto Denk-Art White Wine Glass
Zalto White Wine glass is perfect for crisp, vibrant, dry whites, aged Champagne such as 2007/08 and 2003 Late Disgorged. The glass is superb for many different types of white wines which do not need much aeration, the shape of the glass is focussed on the precision of the aromas. The Zalto White Wine glass covers many varieties such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier, unoaked Sauvignons or Chardonnays.
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