This weeks Red's offered some pleasant surprises.
Everyone knows the Hardy family and most Shiraz drinkers would know the Hardy's Tintara Shiraz...it ages well and is much sought after in the secondary market.
Andrew Hardy (known as Ox), celebrated winemaker and current generation of the esteemed Hardy family has set up on his own to follow in the family business sourcing fruit from the Family's Upper Tintara Vineyard and making great wine! I read about the establishment of Ox Hardy a few months back and I have eagerly awaited this release. Currently there are two wines, the Ox Hardy Upper Tintara Blewitt Springs Shiraz 2016 and the Ancestor Vines 2008 Shiraz (sourced from the remaining 2.54 ha vineyard first planted by his great great grandfather Thomas Hardy quite rare each bottle retailing for $205).
I had the pleasure of trying the 2016 Tintara Blewitt Springs Shiraz and it was glorious.
The Ox hardy is a beautiful red fruit colour, you could be forgiven for thinking that what is in the glass is a grenache or maybe a very cool climate Shiraz.
The aromas coming from the glass are rich and opulent, black fruits dominate. Black cherries, cassis, blackberries, bramble and mulberry. A slightly iodine note comes through but this is McLaren Vale so not surprising. A really noticeably fragrant wine, the last time I smelled something this fragrant I was inhaling some Rockford Basket Press.
The palate was Faark! So rich and smooth, tannins are slightly chalky and obvious but very fine...it is food wine, one mouthful and the tannins disappear. More blackfruit appears on the palate, plums, cherries and blackberries.
My impression? Wow what a wine, from start to finish this is rich opulent elegance that will definitely reward cellaring.
The other wine this week was a cheeky Grenache from Spain. Why a surprise? It is made by Isaac Fernandez, one of Spain's most celebrated winemakers with seriously good fruit and is only $23. Normally for $23 I am not expecting much from a Spanish Grenache, but this wine really turned my head.
Made by Isaac Fernandez with Grenache grown on bush vines and aged using french and american oak. This is rich and elegant enough to make you look twice, and cheap enough to encourage a return visit.
Named after the small sparrow like birds that feed on ripe grapes, when the Acentor arrive its time to harvest.
Bright ruby in colour, the nose is truly a melange of flavours juicy raspberries, a hint of olives, strawberries, red and black cherries, pepper and vanilla. Somewhere in there was a hit of Black Forest Cake maybe some kirschy notes. Textures on the mouth are soft & smooth. Acids are integrated with fine fine tannins. The palate is rich, though not quite a repeat of the nose, raspberries dance with blackberries and cherries.
A great finish, I am already thinking about my next bottle.
With more tastings this coming week I am sure there is something that will turn my head again.