Nov 02, 2016
One of the World's Most Recognized Wine Brands
One of the most likeable people in the wine business is William (Bill) Hardy.
I’ve not doubt anyone who’s met him would agree.
I first met Bill during a visit to McLaren Vale in February 2009 – it was a must visit to the historic Hardys Tintara winery, just outside of Adelaide.
Even though Constellation Brands owned the 1853 established Hardy Wine Company at that time, Bill was still the face of the brand.
In 2011, it landed under the umbrella of Accolade Wines – a private equity company with massive Australian holdings.
Fortunately Bill, as a fifth generation Hardy, maintains his role.
Along with him, his daughter Alex and his nephew Sebastian have joined the team; they are integral to maintaining the Hardy name, as more than simply a conglomerate.
While I was at the McLaren Vale estate, Bill introduced me to the newest members of the Hardy’s lineup the HRB line.
From the website:
"In 1865 Thomas Hardy had the foresight to begin blending grapes from different regions, believing that the blending would enhance the different qualities of the grapes. His vision proved to be right and it has since become the inspiration for our Heritage Reserve Bin (HRB) range.
Our award winning Heritage Reserve Bin range pushes the boundaries of winemaking through the cross regional blending of hand selected grapes."
During a recent visit to Vancouver, Bill Hardy brought some HRB wines, as well as some classics we all know and love, to taste over lunch at YEW Seafood + Bar.
HRB | D644 Riesling 2010 is made from fruit from Tasmania (which Bill says add the distinct floral component to this blend) and Clare Valley. It has amazing focus with aromas of marmalade, honey and white blossoms alongside concentrated mineral note, lemon meringue and shaved lime peel.
Racy and zesty on the palate it boats great citrusy focus followed by a long textual, almost phenolic, finish. Expect wonderful tension and complexity.
$20 Private Stores
Nottage Hill Chardonnay 2015 is a solid go-to everyday Chardy with charming butterscotch, grilled pineapple chunks, creamed corn and sweet spice aromas. The palate is creamy yet bright with citrus and tropical fruits then rolls into spice and finally a nutty finish. Good length – impressive value.
William Hardy Chardonnay 2016 is made from cooler limestone coast fruit this wine is obviously more vibrant and mineral driven than the Nottage Hills. Expect citrus and crunchy white peach and still snappy nectarine with golden apples and honeysuckle - the floral character here is outstanding. A beautiful palate provides saline, nice spice and tangerine peel finish. There’s more oak on the finish than expected, but it is slick with an attractive weight. Cellared for two years, it has (according to the tech sheet) light oak influence.
$19 Private Stores
Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2010 is made from cool climate grown Tasmania and Yarra Valley grapes. It has a rich nose; deep and creamy with buttered nuts, grilled citrus peel, a whiff of golden fruits with some autolytic aromas and struck match (reductive) notes.
Impressive umami palate makes it a great food wine; saline citrus and mineral flavours dominate with toasty and leesy flavours, to echo the nose.
Expect amazing complexity and a long nutty finish.
Fermented in oak, 65% malolactic (secondary) fermentation and matured 10 months in French oak.
$57 Private Stores
William Hardy Shiraz 2014
This McLaren Vale Shiraz offers attractive notes of spicy blackberry high-toned damson plums, pepper and an earthy core of licorice, baking spice and weighty intense fine tannins cocoa and pepper finish. Weighty and intense, yet juicy and fresh, with powdery tannins. It boasts lovely sweet fruit – and nice persistence.
Matured with oak staves and old oak barrel.
Tintara Shiraz 2012 comes from McLaren Vale fruit, which goes through full malolactic fermentation and is then matured in French and American oak barrels.
On the nose; sweaty leather, dried cherries, mulberry and fleur de sel with espresso, brown spice and dark chocolate.
It has a slick, glycerol entry, a supple weight with impressive. Deep and rich, but not jammy. Overall impressive complexity and substance.
$23 Private Stores
Eileen Hardy Shiraz 2005 is made from McLaren vale vines with age between 45-104 years old.
This rendition is chocolaty, with loads of mint-chocolate wafer notes. It has outstanding richness and flavours of wild purple forest berries and violets, rich earthy soils and is concentrated with ripe but textural tannins to add chew. The finish is rich and chocolaty with espresso lingering. Amazing concentration - a succulent and seriously opulent wine, which is grounded, not trendy.
Maturation was 19 months in French oak barrique.
$79 Private Stores
HRB | D640 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 is made from Coonawarra and Margaret River grapes (the two most famed Australian Cabernet regions). Expect lively menthol, black current and black cherry with sweet spicy notes. It is more formal and thoughtful on the palate, with a beautiful texture and weight.
A powerful wine showing the Coonawarra terra rossa soils minerality in the textural finish.
$31 Private Stores
~Daenna Van Mulligen