Andrew Hardy’s New ‘Ancient’ Shiraz
Australian grapes that date to the late 19th century? Yes, please.
The Hardy name has been synonymous with Australian winemaking since the late 1800s – and now Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy has dug into that history to release a new ‘hobby’ drop literally centuries in the making.
The new, ingeniously titled, ’Ox Hardy’ range is led by the 1891 Ancestor Vines Shiraz – 2008 Vintage, produced from vines located on the Hardy family’s McLaren Vale vineyard – originally bought by Thomas Hardy, Andrew’s great-great grandfather, in 1871, with shiraz vines planted 20 years later.
Ox – a nickname born on the footy field as a junior – started bottling small, hobby-like amounts of the Ancestor vine shiraz in 1994, keeping it to himself for home consumption.
Upper Tintara Vineyard – McLaren Vale
“I’ve been making it for a long time – I’ve got vintages from ’08 – and I guess I always thought that there aren’t’ too many old vineyards around and given the history, that it’s been in my directly family the whole time, I thought it’d be interesting,” Hardy tells Robb Report.
The wine itself is subject to Andrew’s minimalist style of winemaking developed over more than thirty years at reputable outposts like Petaluma.
“The vines are old, and they’re good, but they aren’t good because they’re old – not interfering with it accentuates the old vine fruit.”
Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy
The end result is a wine that’s fairly fruit forward, despite its age, with dark berries complemented by the soft, sandy tannins that arise from the soils of the region.
Available now, the 2008 Ancestor Vines Shiraz is limited to 800 bottles, priced at $225 a bottle.
Joining it is the 2016 Upper Tintara McLaren Vale Shiraz ($38), affectionately called “little Ox’ and produced with young shiraz vines planted in 2000.