Ox Hardy 'Ancestor' Shiraz

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Ox Hardy 'Ancestor' Shiraz

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Vintage: 2010

McLaren Vale, SA 
ALC: 14.5%

Andrew has said his Ancestor Vine Shiraz vintages exploration felt ‘a bit like ripping up $100 bills in the shower’. You’ve gotta admire the passion. Planted in 1891, these vines make ridiculously good fruit. We’re talking top-shelf exceptional, priceless. Supple, fresh and medium-bodied, it packs full-bodied power. Less than 1000 bottles made. Drink in the history. 


Say ‘limited amounts of easy-drinking, handcrafted McLaren Vale wine’, and you’ve got our attention. Say it’s made by Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy, and we’re hooked. Known nearly as much for his elegant pink shirts as his elegant winemaking style, Andrew’s minimalist winemaking philosophy has been passed down and perfected over five generations. With an 1871 block on his hands, Andrew’s not afraid to experiment with the best of the old and the new. Just how we like it.


How to define that smell? Ox’s answer: “What is that – it’s that piece of dirt, red, ironstone is underneath. It’s that ferruginous thing all over again.” In the mouth there’s a beautiful fruit character that’s powerful but gently so, you sense extraordinary intensity but it doesn’t knock you over. Ox’s thoughts: “It’s a very soft way of making wine, little fermenters, hand plunging, little tank presses, nothing aggressive about the winemaking, No fancy stuff going on.” There’s wonder, history and a timelessness.


For a chin-stroker like this, minimise the distractions. Dim the lights. Maybe even close your eyes (actually, don’t, you’ll spill it everywhere). Wait for a special occasion if you’re sensible. Or let it light up an otherwise dull day.


JH 97 points, 2010. “There's magic in this wine, starting with its brilliant crimson-purple colour through to the rim, the bouquet telling you this is no false dawn. Its purity, balance and attention to detail are akin to a miniature painting from the 16th century, red fruits skipping around the perimeter of the gloriously long finish.” - James Halliday

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