For a casual pleasant setting of wine, artisan cheese, chocolate and fruit, we pulled this Shiraz from the cellar. Bordering St.Vincent's Gulf, 25 miles south of Adelaide in the rolling foothills of the Southern Mt.Lofty Ranges lies Kay Brothers McLaren Vale Amery Vineyards. Established in 1890 by Australian born brothers Herbert and Frederick Kay and conducting its first grape crush in 1895, Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards is the oldest McLaren Vale winery still in founding family hands. Today, third generation Colin Kay continues the family winemaking tradition. A few miles from McLaren Vale Township sits part of the original winery complex atop a hill with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding picturesque valleys and hillsides.
Kay's produce traditional red wines from grapes grown on their 45 acre Amery Vineyard from grape varieties Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre (Mataro) and Muscat Blanc. Colin Kay strives to make rich full-bodied fruit-driven wines (using the original Open Fermenters and Basket Press) with small oak cask maturation.
The Hillside vineyard was initially planted in 1892 and was replanted in 1992 using cuttings taken from the 100 year old Block 6 Shiraz vines. Sitting on an Easterly facing slope, Hillside Shiraz is graced with complex geology, cooling summer breezes and warm summer sun that develop intense flavors, balanced structure and good palate weight representing what McLaren Vale is famous for.
From 6- to 34-year-old vines, the 2004 Hillside Shiraz is full bodied with inky/ruby/purple-color, large mouthfeel, full body with acidity from blackberries, black cherries, with a layer of cassis, pepper, truffle and briary notes with a bitter chocolate and dried herb finish turning to moderate tannins and alcohol.
I've never had this label before but this seemed to be a bit past its prime coming across a bit flabby, lacking the finesse or polish of more some balanced shiraz' but it could just be the style or tones of the vintage.
RM 88 points.