Ox Hardy Slate Shiraz 2019


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When Thomas Hardy purchased the Upper Tintara Vineyard in McLaren Vale in 1871, it heralded the foundation of one of Australia’s greatest winemaking dynasties. Today the picturesque property is still owned by the Hardy family and consists of native protected scrub and approximately 45 Ha of vines. Winemaker Andrew Hardy Appellation Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale Variety Shiraz 100% Vintage Harvested on the 28th of February 2019. Sustainable viticulture practices. Colour Deep , rich instense purple. Aroma Bold and lively, hints of spice and florals. Palate Intense blackberry, raspberry and rich dark liquorice. Medium-bodied with grippy, powdery tannins that move through to a long, smooth finish. 


As with its inaugural release in 2018, we produced this wine in the ruin of Thomas Hardy’s original Upper Tintara Winery. Until 2018, it had remained unused for 95 years. The original open fermenters, made from immense slabs of locally quarried slate, were swept out and the joints resealed with wax in preparation for vintage. 2.3 Tonne of Shiraz from the Moreton Bay block of the family’s vineyard was shovelled into the open fermenters by hand, with the open ferment hand plunged three times a day for 9 days before the wine was pumped out and the skins dug out with bucket and shovel. Following basket pressing, the small batch of wine was matured for 18 months in the finest French oak barriques before bottling and release.

The winery was built by a consortium of wealthy Adelaide businessmen led by the legendary Dr A.C. Kelly in 1863, the slate mined at nearby Delabole quarry in the Willunga Hills. These fermenters were last used in 1927. The cold must was inoculated with a chosen yeast strain, Melody as well as a mixture of wild yeast strains, and the open ferment was hand plunged three times a day. Fermentation lasted 9 days after which the wine was pumped out and the skins dug out with bucket and shovel. The skins were then pressed in a basket press straight to older French oak barriques for 18 months maturation before bottling on November 11th 2020.


"Shiraz from the Upper Tintara Vineyard as made by Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy.

This steps things up a bit. It’s the extra length that does it. It’s a ripe, semi-rustic turn at shiraz, with bitumen and plum flavours doing most of the lifting, but the finish reaches so very far and beyond that, by the end of it all, you’ve noticed the extra dimensions added by various florals and dry, rusty spice notes. It’s a wine of layers and length. It’s top notch."

95 Points, Campbell Mattinson