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1998 Kay Brothers Block 6 Shiraz
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- Closure: Cork
This wine is produced from 106 Year old vines, and has now reached international cult status. Production is limited to a minuscule 12.35 tonne which equates to under 900 cases for a very appreciative Global audience. In the old days that production probably meant that within Australia there was something like ten buyers for every bottle produced, today there are hundreds of wine enthusiasts globally wanting to get their hands on this viticultural treasure.Age is no indicator of wisdom or quality, but in special people age confers great wisdom and in special vineyards, the vines that remain are capable of producing extraordinary, concentrated wine.Totally opaque, purple colour. The Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz was dense, this wine has at least double density, astonishing! Superb aromas fill the nose with concentrated notes of ripe plums, confectionery, vanilla, spice and liquorice allsorts. The palate structure is monumental and is typical of the outstanding 1998 vintage. The tannins are firmer than they have been for some time, but well supported by the opulent fruit flavour. Immense flavours of vanilla, plum, spice, dark chocolate, mocca and a very strong blackpepper explosion on the back palate which moves all the way through to the aftertaste. An Extraordinary taste experience. Needless to say stock are extremely limited.
I have to wonder if this wine would not be even more extraordinary and close to perfection if it were aged in French oak. American oak is still the big deal in Australia, despite the exceptional success the more subtle French oak has had nearby at Clarendon Hills. The 1998 shows the aggressive toasty oak in the nose, but there is no doubt that is going to be completely absorbed in another 3-5 years of cellaring, given the wine's mammoth concentration and extravagant richness. The wine has a black/purple color and an extraordinarily sweet nose of black fruits intermixed with spice box, licorice, and a touch of pepper. A monster wine on the palate, and still uncivilized and too young to actually enjoy drinking, this wine should be at its peak by 2006 and keep for up to 2020 or so. A great vintage for Block 6 Shiraz.
Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
Click here to read more about the McLaren Vale wine region.