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Kay Brothers Basket Pressed Grenache 2015
Blend: 90% Grenache, 7% Shiraz, 3% Mataro
Decanting is recommended an hour or two before enjoying. This wine is ideally served at room temperature with lighter dishes such as tapas.
Established in 1890 by Australian born brothers Herbert and Frederick Kay, it is the oldest McLaren Vale
winery still in the hands of the founding family, with Herbert’s grandson Colin Kay continuing the family
winemaking tradition. Bordering St. Vincent’s Gulf, 24 miles south of Adelaide, the Kay Brothers
McLaren Vale vineyards grace the rolling foothills of the Southern Mt. Lofty Ranges. The winery is
located at the top of a hill three miles from the McLaren Vale Township and the cellar door, which is part
of the original winery complex, boasts some stunning panoramic views of the surrounding picturesque
valleys and hillsides.
The Kays are specialists of traditional grape growing and winemaking, utilizing grapes from their own 54
acre vineyards to produce their wines. The main grape variety grown is Shiraz (including the 1892
planted Block 6) followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre) and Muscat
Blanc. Colin’s winemaking philosophy is to make rich full-bodied fruit-driven wines (using the original
open fermenters and basket press) with a minimum of 18 months aging in small American oak casks.
The Block 6 Shiraz & Hillside Shiraz spend up to two and a half years maturing in a combination of
American, Eastern European and French oak barrels.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style. Whites, often made from Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc tend to be opulent and full of tropical, stone and citrus fruit.
Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.
In the Glass
In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.
Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.
Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.