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Kay Brothers Amery

The Kay Brothers Amery vineyard estate has a long history having been established by Herbert and Frederick Kay in McLaren Vale, South Australia, in 1891. The first grape harvest took place in 1895 and it is now the oldest winery in the region still being run by descendants of the original founders. The family run estate produces benchmark Shiraz wines, for which it is most famous, as well as smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Mourvedre (Mataro) and Muscat Blanc. The philosophy of winemaker Colin Kay is dedicated to making rich, full-bodied and fruit-driven wines that are made using the original open fermentation tanks and basket press with the maturation of the wines taking place in small oak casks, or barriques as they are known in France, with a mixture of French, American and Bulgarian oak being used. Kay Brothers Amery wines have a long award-winning history which frequently score in the mid to high nineties as judged by the world's top wine critics.

Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards

Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards

The Kay Brothers Amery vineyards comprise 22 hectares of vines many of which are looked down upon from the stunning hill-top winery location which is situated about 3 miles from the small town of McLaren Vale. This winery's famous "Cellar Door" is renowned throughout the wine world for the friendliness of its welcome and its vinous hospitality. It is a listed Australian Heritage Site, closed only on Christmas Day and Good Friday, at which visitors are invited to sample the premium wines produced by the estate and also inspect the meticulously compiled diaries which document each day of the winery and vineyard's history since 1891.

The vineyards consist predominantly of ironstone gravel mixed with some loam, quartz and clays and are nestled between the foothills of the Mount Lofty mountain range and the coast. The climate is best characterised as a warm temperate one where the winters are cool and moist but frost-free and the summers are dry and warm - ideal for grape cultivation. Approximately 12,000 cases of wine are produced by the estate each year.

 

Kay Brothers Amery Wines

block 6 grapes The grapes for Kay Brothers Amery wines are all hand-picked and represent the finest quality at each price-point. The top wine is undoubtedly the Block 6 Shiraz which is still made from the fewer than 2 remaining hectares of the original vines planted in July, 1892. Today the quantity of grapes produced by these vines is very small but the quality is equally high. The winemaker himself describes Block 6 Shiraz as being "...a wine of great strength, deep complexity and amazing beauty." Tasting notes make reference to black fruits, fruit cake, bitumen, liquorice and black olives. Block 6 Shiraz can age gracefully for many years with foremost Australian wine commentator James Halliday noting that the drinking window of the 2010 will be open for 40 years. Wine writer Matthew Jukes wrote "..Block 6 is one of the legendary vineyards of Australia and the fact that this wine can be bought for a two figure sum is, frankly, baffling." This is certainly a wine to lay down for very special occasions.

The Hillside Shiraz is another big, full-flavoured red wine. Its east-facing vineyard looks down on that of the Block 6 and in 1992 replanting began with cuttings taken from the century old Block 6 vines. With a similar geology to its more famous relative the Hillside Shiraz delivers the big, powerful palate of the best McClaren Vale reds with particular mention made of ripe dark berries, bitter chocolate, mocha and roasted nuts - especially chestnut. The nose displays some oak together with the dark fruits already mentioned. This is a well-structured wine with ripe, rounded tannins that will keep well for ten years or even longer.

basket pressThe Basket Pressed Shiraz is, just like its more illustrious stable-mates, produced from grapes sourced solely from the Amery vineyards, fermented in open tanks and then subjected to gentle basket pressing before maturing for a minimum of 20 months in a mixture of French, American and Bulgarian oak. This red wine offers a taste of the quality of the Kay Brothers Shiraz wines but at an even more affordable price point. The 2011 release had aromas of black cherry, mint, pepper and caraway seed while the palate revealed ripe black and red fruits with a pronounced streak of acidity and soft, well integrated tannins

The Cuthbert Cabernet is the premium Cabernet Sauvignon wine launched to honour the memory of Cuthbert Kay (1914 - 2001) who, apart from service in World War 2, spent his whole life at the Amery homestead and was responsible for the expansion in plantings of Cabernet vines. The Cuthbert Cabernet is only made in the best vintages and to date there have been just five deemed worthy of bearing the name. Tasting notes for the 2010 mention "intense mulberry and blackcurrant fruit" with mint, liquorice and cigar box notes. Together with sweet toasty Bulgarian oak, spicy cinnamon and crunchy acidity this is a classic Australian Cabernet Sauvignon wine.

The Cardinal's Cellar is in the fortunate position of being able to offer a selection of Kay Brothers Amery wines and vintages from this archetypal McLaren Vale winery. The traditional methods employed help to express the fruit character of the grapes which is always the prime goal of this producer. As the prices of the top wines from many classic wine producing areas reach stratospheric heights thanks, in part, to avid interest from the Far East, this is a winery that is producing affordable top quality wines even at the very top of its range.

 

 

Video: Kay Brothers Cellar Door - Basket Press Shiraz & Liqueur Muscat

  1. Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2004

    Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2004

    Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz is a real blockbuster wine that was made from 114 year old vines .

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  2. Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2003

    Delicious South Australian Shiraz, the 2003 vintage has a powerful and deep nose of dark berry fruit. Dark red in colour with a sumptuous palate of blackcurrant with hints of pepper, licorice and vanilla and notes of savoury game.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Syrah
    Country Australia

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  3. Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2004

    Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2004

    This is a wonderful wine from one of McLaren Vale's very best wineries. Rated as "superb" by Robert Parker no less.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  4. Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2005

    This Hillside Shiraz is another triumph which has real class. It is a great example of a Shiraz from the McLaren Vale. The wine is deep purple in colour and is full-bodied with smooth tannins.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  5. Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2006

    Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2006

    Very big, dense Australian red wine but with great structure and acidity. Typically spicy fruit and a long finish to savour.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  6. Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2006

    Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2006

    Earthy notes of mulberry, plum and tobacco and hints of cinnamon, liquorice, and coffee arise from this intense 2006 Shiraz and its carefully crafted nature comes through in its near perfect structure.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

    Out of stock

  7. Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2003

    Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2003

    This is another great Australian red from the famous Kay Brother's Winery and from their equally great Amery Vineyards. Very dark purple in colour, this is a medium-bodied wine that has had ample time to age and allow the tannins to properly integrate themselves.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

    Out of stock

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