The latest release from McLaren Vale’s Kay Brothers is the 2018 Block 6 Shiraz, a wine which stands out even among the stellar reds the South Australian region is known for.
Described by winemaker Duncan Kennedy as “intense but elegant, with intricate, fine-grained tannins,” and by Halliday’s own Ned Goodwin MW as “fine boned yet powerful”, the 2018 (RRP $125) is the 35th release since 1984 – the year the wine started to be made exclusively from Block 6 shiraz grapes – with the 2019 due to be released around Easter 2022.
“Fine boned. Powerful... Intense, compact, fragrant and ready for the long haul.” Ned Goodwin MW, Halliday Wine Companion 2022
Duncan remembers 2018 as a particular good year for shiraz. “Good winter rainfall helped the vines get off to a start, but the rest of the season was really quite dry,” he says. “January was hot, which helped develop intense fruit characters, but February and March were quite cool which meant the fruit held onto its nice, natural acidity and allowed the tannins to come into balance.”
The resulting wine is deep ruby in colour, with concentrated dark berry fruit, cacao and black olive characters, plus “pepper-clad acidity” and oak that’s “ample but not exaggerated”, according to Ned Goodwin. It’s “intense, compact, fragrant and ready for the long haul,” he says.
While it’s drinking well now, it has potential to age for decades “if you’ve got the patience,” says Duncan.
For more details on Kay Brothers or to purchase the Block 6 Shiraz, head to their website.