2015 Amery Vineyard Hillside McLaren Vale Shiraz
Shiraz •Amery Vineyard
Australia: McLaren Vale
Once upon a time
“Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.” - Thomas Hardy
Nothing too strange here! This IS happening, oh yes it is! Over 50% off this classy 95 + 93 point powerhouse from down under.
The Thomas Hardy quote seems appropriate, too, since he donated cuttings to the Kay Brothers winery in 1892. These vines still thrive in their Amery vineyard and at 128 years, they aren’t just old…they’re ANCIENT. Still churning out impossibly small quantities of power-packed fruit from their head-trained vines today.
History runs deep at Kay Brothers. The winery is old school to the bones - Robert Parker called it a “treasure trove of historical implements”. They still use a basket press to gently crush the grapes for cryin’ out loud! And just check out that label - straight 1800s man. But all that matters, really, is the juice inside. We can’t say it much better than foremost Australian critic James Halliday; “Boysenberry dipped in dark chocolate, plus a side of black plums, licorice and spicy clove/cedar (21 months in American and French oak, 26% new). Full-bodied and densely layered, yet there’s a vivacity, too, thanks to its refreshing acidity and oh-so-supple, spongy tannins.” Who doesn’t love spongy tannins?? Parker echoes the sentiment; “dark chocolate, mulberries and savory spice” come together in this loveable, squishable, huggable bottle that feels like a comforting weighted blanket for your wine-soaked soul. And these days, who doesn’t need a bit of that reassuring security?
The bottom line is if this came from the Rhône – and it sure drinks like an Hermitage – you’d be paying AT LEAST $100 more for this level of complexity. What else can we say?? Make moves!
95 Points – James Halliday
“A traditional winery with a rich history and just over 20ha of priceless old vines; while the white wines have been variable, the red and fortified wines can be very good. Of particular interest is Block 6 Shiraz, made from 120+-year-old vines; both vines and wines are going from strength to strength. Celebrates its 130th anniversary in 2020. Boysenberry dipped in dark chocolate, plus a side of black plums, licorice, and spicy clove/cedar (21 months in American and French oak, 26% new). Full-bodied and densely layered, yet there’s a vivacity, too, thanks to its refreshing acidity and oh-so-supple, spongy tannins.”
93 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Dark chocolate, mulberries, and savory spice all come together on the nose of the 2015 Hillside Shiraz. It’s a dense, concentrated wine, richly structured and tannic but not unapproachable with a rare hunk of beef or lamb. The Kay Brothers wines make no concessions to modernity, sticking to the tried and true methods of crafting traditional, cellar-worthy Shiraz. Drink 2020-2035.”
Near opaque, with the slimmest rim glowing ruby with a purple hue.
Fresh black plums, boysenberry, chocolate ganache, and dusty minerals.
At once refreshing with lively acidity and superb, round tannins with a hint of black olive.
Echoes for a minute plus with ripe dark berries, fresh cracked black pepper, and sage.
Sublime on its own, will also enhance game and mushroom stews with abundant spice.
What the Winery Says
- Duncan Kennedy
- 100% Syrah (Shiraz)
- McLaren Vale, SOuth Australia
- Amery Vineyard, Blocks 6 & 11
- Vine age
- 28-128 years
- Total acidity
- 7.2 g/l
- Residual sugar
- 3.8 g/L
- February 2017
- 21 months
- 26% new American & French oak