Ox Hardy 1891 Ancestor Vines Shiraz 2012 - McLaren Vale
Closure: Screw cap
Bottle size: 750ml
Deep and intense with a tinge of purple. Blackberry and dark fruits, with hints of cherry-brandy and star anise. Rich, generous and full-bodied. Deep, dark fruits, opulent and succulent. Fine, supple tannins lead through to a persistently long finish.
Approximately one tonne of fruit was hand-picked from the 1891 planted Ancestor Vine Block at 14.1 baumé on 27th February 2012. The fruit was then de-stemmed before fermentation in a small open vessel for ten days, with hand plunging at least three times daily. Post-ferment the wine remained on skins for fourteen days before being basket pressed and transferred to second fill French oak barriques. The Ancestor Vine Shiraz spent nearly two years maturing in these barrels before being filtered and bottled in February 2014. The wine has been matured in bottle in perfect cellaring conditions for seven years prior to its release in March 2021.
Comes in a stylish black wooden gift box. An impressive gift.
I was very fortunate to taste the only bottle of this vintage in the country and I understand that it is
not yet released in Australia, so this is somewhat of a scoop. Given I only had a tasting sample-sized
glass with which to make my notes so this is a somewhat cramped review, but I can tell you that this
is yet another stellar interpretation of the vines which Thomas Hardy planted back in 1891. So deep,
so closed and yet so refreshing, the power-to-weight ratio here is mind-blowing and the monastic
control on the palate confounds any form of devotion I have ever heard of. By far the most
introverted and centred AVS to date, at eight years old, this wine is refusing to budge, but there is so
much potential here it is staggering. We are witnessing the birth of a vinous superstar, and with
2008 and 2010 in the back catalogue, and knowing just how serious the great 2012s are from other
wineries in South Australia, I can safely say that I expect this wine to unfurl over the next two or
three years into one of the finest Shiraz/Syrahs on the planet. As far as experiences go, my sip and a
half took me on an even more fascinating journey than the near-perfect 2010 but, of course, I didn’t
reach the destination. Nevertheless, I was overwhelmed with just how expressive and also how
distinguished this wine felt on my palate and so it would be remiss of me to give it anything less than
a perfect score.
A really striking style with intense and ripe dark-plum, dark-chocolate and rust notes to the nose, as
well as spiced dark cherries, herbs and savory elements. The palate is bathed in rich and ripe darkplum and berry flavors, the tannins are silky and the resolve is sanguine. Just 850 bottles produced.
Drink or hold.
The Upper Tintara Vineyard (established by Dr AC Kelly in 1861) was purchased by Thomas Hardy in 1871, heralding the foundation of one of Australia’s greatest winemaking dynasties. Still owned by the Hardy family, the property is home of the original Hardy’s Upper Tintara Winery (now a ruin), and approximately 45 hectares of precious vines dating back to 1891. Andrew "Ox" Hardy is one of Australia's most respected winemakers and is known for his elegant winemaking style, engaging manner and penchant for pink shirts. His winemaking philosophy would be described as minimalist, allowing the quality of the vineyard and fruit to do the talking.
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