1996 Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz

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1996 Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz

McLaren Vale, South Australia, AUSTRALIA
$89.99 Bottle
  • Cellar Drink Now - 4 years (2006-2010)
  • Closure: Cork

This wine possesses outstanding colour for a 10 year old wine – opaque deep crimson red colour with crimson hue. The nose is showing great complexity as result of bottle age with powerful aromas of liquorice, plum, cedar, vanilla, earth and leather. The palate is still rich and full bodied. An explosion of flavour with liquorice, blackberry, confectionary, chocolate, aniseed and pepper with some leather and earth characters in the background - totally mouthfilling. Opulently textured with silky smooth tannins, beautifully integrated with the fruit. Very long pepper, liquorice, aniseed and leather/earth aftertaste – exceptional persistence. A concentrate of Shiraz and outstanding example of what Australia does best – produce rich blockbuster flavour filled wines.
Drink now or cellar another 3-4 years.
14.9% alcohol

First tasted, October 1998:
The 1996 Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz is another triumph for Colin Kay. The history of the Kay Brothers is very much a history of McLaren Vale. The original Amery homestead was built in the early 1850's by Richard Baker Aldersey from ironstone found on the property. The tall eight sided cut brick chimneys were described as "gentlemen's Chimneys". These have since been cemented over and the original homestead altered. Aldersey died in 1857 and was buried on the estate - his dying wish was to "lie where the curlews cried and the sheoaks sighed". An unusual request from Aldersey, that apart from his wife, no other women were to be buried on the property. William Hammond purchased the property after Alderseys death, and in 1890 the property passed into the ownership of Messers Kay Brothers. The Kay Brothers built a cellar based on the model exhibited by J.G Kelly at the Chamber of Manufactures Exhibition, and made use of natural gravitation. 1895 was the first vintage with 2000 gallons (9000 litres) of wine produced - that's 1000 cases.


In July 1891 Fred and Herbert Kay collected Shiraz cuttings from Thomas Hardys Tintara Vineyard and began to plant Block 6 in 1892. Twelve acres were planted, of which only four acres remain today. These 100 year old vines produce wines of remarkable quality and concentration, however the tradeoff is that they are very low yielding. The 1996 vintage yielded only 11.6 tonnes which equals 2.9 tonnes per acre or approximately 800 cases of wine. Needless to remark - stocks are very limited. Tasting Notes: The fruit was basket pressed and fermented in open fermenters built in 1892, and then aged for over 2 years in a combination of Memel and American Oak casks. This is a big wine. Opaque crimson mauve purple colour. Magnificent ripe fruit just leaps out of the glass. Blackberries, plum, stewed fruit, spice, vanilla, dark chocolate, with hints of liquorice and violet. The palate is exceptional and a triumph in rich, generous, flavour filled McLaren Vale Shiraz - outstanding concentration with ripe plum, vanilla and spice perfectly juxtaposed with blackberry and black pepper back palate flavours. Perfect balance, exceptional length, fine grained tannins and very long blackberry, plum, vanilla aftertaste. A classic. Cellar 10-15 years. Richard Aldersey would be well pleased - the land he chose has produced wines that surpasses the cries of the curlews, and the sighs of the sheoaks - a wine of indulgent bliss!