2013 Kay Brothers "Hillside" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia (Elsewhere $55)

SKU #1330140 95 points James Halliday

 Open-fermented, basket-pressed, matured for 18 months in American and Balkan oak. This is a distillation of all things McLaren Vale shiraz, a poached plum, blackberry and dark chocolate ragout, softly, but insistently, painting every corner of the mouth, the masterstroke the mouthwatering tannins simultaneously freshening and lengthening the finish. Drink this, cellar its big brothers.

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet in color, the 2013 Hillside Shiraz has a lovely, somewhat coy nose of red currants, black plums and kirsch with suggestions of chocolate box, incense, Provence herbs and fragrant earth. The medium-bodied palate has a solid foundation of grainy tannins and lively acid supporting the muscular fruit and finishing multilayered, with a hint of cedar poking through. (LPB)  (8/2016)

92 points Vinous

 Bright violet. Incisive scents of fresh dark berries, cherry pit, pungent flowers and cracked pepper; a subtle vanilla nuance builds in the glass. Juicy and broad in the mouth, showing strong lift and solid punch to the bitter cherry and black currant flavors. Aeration brings out olive and licorice qualities that carry through a very long, youthfully tannic finish. (JR)  (10/2017)

K&L Notes

95 points Wine Front: "Super example of earthy, dark chocolaty and savoury McLaren Vale Shiraz. It has a perfume to it, which includes lavender and liquorice, plenty of spice and juicy blackberry fruit. Full bodied, though certainly not overweight, with clean acidity, a mass of fine grained ferrous tannin, toasty oak in support, and a clean tannic finish of mighty length. Love the rugged and tannic appeal of many a 2013. This has it, and a little bit more."

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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/13/2017 | Send Email
Kay Brothers continue to deliver the very essence of McLaren Vale. This is absolutely a regional classic that optimizes varietal and place. The perfume sways back and forth from dark fruit, to earth, to floral tones and back to savory smoked meat tones. Deep plummy fruit invades the palate with briary / garrigue notes, toasted spice, cured meat and liquored cherry. The palate is lush and concentrated, with fine, supple tannin and beautifully sustained length thanks to the wines natural acidity. This is an absolute joy to drink now and assured to go another decade in the cellar if you wish.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/13/2017 | Send Email
This is the very definition of a classic Shiraz from one of the most well-respected and oldest producers in McLaren Vale. It has a rugged, yet polished feel to it, clearly letting the land the grapes were grown in shine through. The centuries of practice this winery has had to perfect it's Shiraz have clearly paid off with a wine that showcases the best the varietal has to offer. Rich, but not fat, earthy, but not harsh, this is the epitome of balance and a beautiful example of what happens when McLaren Vale fruit and years of winemaking experience meet up.

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/13/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz is truly one of the iconic wines of Australia's McLaren Vale and a perennial favorite. Violets, chocolate and intense plum dominate the palate, however layers of dried meats, cracked pepper and fragrant spice are interwoven throughout. It is long and deep with mouthwatering, savory layers emerging in the glass and a nicely balanced level of acidity and fine tannin. Uou will be forgiven for thinking of the great syrahs of the northern Rhone when tasting this beauty.
Top Value!

Additional Information:



- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

McLaren Vale