2006 Amery Vineyard Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Three points worth noting. Hillside was planted with cuttings from the famous flagship Block 6 Shiraz (selling from HK$700 up). This Block 6 Shiraz comes from centurion vines planted in 1896.
Hillside then uses 50% of the used oak from Block 6 the elder brother’ and employs 50% new mixed Barriques(French, American and Bulgarian). Other stylistic influencers of this Hillside are: fruit driven philosophy of the wine making team, and technical applications such as open tank fermentation; soft, basket-press, small barrels.
28 months in oak have conditioned the bright black cherries on the nose and flavors of blackberry spices (fennel, nutmeg and pepper), vanilla and milk the primal and the right public way- just wealthy without ever becoming sticky, and is never sweetish. But there is no oak monster here the fruit and oak blend well together to make a very interesting whole!
This Tasting Team finds this is a fiery (15.5%) wine-but it works fine-soft and plump, nougat and roasted nuts. The tail is broad and fiery, spicy with tobacco and dried fruit.
Compared to the higher score 2005 which we tasted 3 months ago, this wine is more floral and fruity (more mulberries), with hints of fresh leather, cedar, tar, dark chocolate. A very pleasant dry finish that leaves the mouth wanting more.
After the tasting, Team went for Rosemary and garlic roast lamb with crispy roast potatoes and peas and bits of roast goose. Heavenly!
Team resonants to a great extent the tastings notes from the following wine commentators:
Deep garnet-black with a hint of brick, the 2006 Amery Vineyard Hillside Shiraz has pronounced notes of smoked game, hung meat, dried plums and kirsch, some cigar boxes, Chinese five spice and mocha. Structured, rich, very full and opulent on the palate is has a medium-firm level of rounded tannins and a long spicy finish. Drinking beautifully now, it has some potential to evolve further and should cellar to 2019+. Wine Advocate 93
A big and brooding Hillside with great concentration, controlled by firm, finely structured tannins. It’s loaded with dense liquorice, black tar and coal and manages to maintain a freshness of black plum and cherry throughout.” Tyson Stelzer 93, Wine 100 Jan/Feb 2011
"This has some attractive developed character, with mellow red-berry and cherry aromas, a smooth, fleshy palate and supple tannins. It has appealing flavour, roundness and balance. 15.5 percent alcohol! Good to drink, or cellar." Huon Hooke 93, Gourmet Wine Traveller April/May 2011
Has lifted red and black fruits with a strong savoury edge; the oak is there, but plays a supporting role; the finish is quite firm, but the fruit follows through well. Date tasted 21 Nov 2008, drink by 2016. James Halliday's Wine Companion - 90 pts -