Drink Pink – OX Hardy
When Tony Cox encourages us to think pink, he isn’t referring to rosé (for once!) but the signature pink shirts worn by a renowned winemaker from impressive lineage (or is that vineage?).
OX Hardy is the personal label of Andrew Hardy, with its base being the historic Upper Tintara vineyard, part of the original Hardy’s vineyards purchased by the family in 1871.
The family lineage combined with Andrew’s own career, including an extended stint at Petaluma, has led to an exciting range matched by simple yet eye-catching packaging, easily distinguished by the pink writing, a nod to Andrew’s penchant for wearing pink shirts.
The combination of elevation, which creates freshness and acidity in the grapes, and a gentle approach in the winery has created a modern interpretation of McLarenvale wines with an emphasis on elegance and food friendliness.
The 2020 grenache features a combination of McLaren Flat and Blewitt Springs juice, all dry grown, utilizing old oak. Almost pinot-esque in appearance it is beautifully perfumed and medium-weight with red fruits, a little spice and pepper with a juicy finish, perfect for an afternoon charcuterie plate.
The 2021 Fiano is sourced from 10-year-old vines from the home vineyard. Picked early in the morning to preserve acidity, the focus is on preserving the primary fruit character of the wine with a little lee stirring adding mid-palate weight and texture. Very clean with citrus flavours and a pristine acid line this would comfortably sit on the table alongside some fresh Noosa seafood.
The 2017 Upper Tintara Vineyard Shiraz is again sourced exclusively from the home vineyard from vines planted since 2000. Again, the emphasis is on maintaining the integrity of site with elevation in the vineyard reflected in the elegance of the wine. Older oak again focuses attention on the fruit with the medium weight wine featuring dark fruits and a delicious savoury edge framed by cleansing acidity. Lamb cutlets, pink and juicy off the barbecue, come readily to mind.
Whilst these wines represent the ‘everyday’ drinking range from this label, the superstar is the 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz. 130-year-old vines puts this immediately into the echelon of some of our oldest wines such as Langmeil Freedom Shiraz and Henschke Hill of Grace. I will leave that for another time or let you seek it out for yourself, which you could construe as code for “I didn’t get to try it on the day”.
Cheers and good drinking!