My wine trade buddy Greg Sherwood brought this wine around to dinner, and served it blind. It was a real treat. I reckoned it was properly old, and new world, but didn’t spot Australia. It’s back in the era when top Aussie wines had moderate alcohol levels – this was just 12.5%. These day, the Block 6 is still a modest 13.5% or so, while many of its peers will be 14.5% or higher. Interestingly, this was closed with an inexpensive twin top-style technical cork. But it had done its job: the wine had developed really nicely.
As to the ripeness/alcohol issue? Yes, global warming has had an effect on warm-climate Aussie wines, but I think that most of the high alcohol, super-ripe wines reflect winegrower intent as much as anything.
Kays Amery Vineyards Block 6 Shiraz 1989 McLaren Vale, Australia
From a vineyard planted in 1892. Sweet, rich and spicy with notes of iodine, herbs, black cherry and some tar. Warm with a hint of bovril alongside the raspberry and cherry notes. Lovely focus here: this has developed really nicely, and there’s a hint of the Rhône here s well as a bit of maturity. 93/100
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