Ox Hardy 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz is borne from the old vines of the Hardy family’s famed Upper Tintara vineyard. Planted in 1891, the quality and quantity of their yield belies their age. Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy has taken full advantage of these incredible vines, creating this wine – a drinkable showcase of exactly what this incredible vineyard has to offer.
Lavish and powerful, this wine is rich with black and purple fruits. Full of body, and incredibly long, it nevertheless finishes with remarkable freshness. A standout McLaren Vale Shiraz that harks back to a celebrated history, while looking forward to what can only be a promising future.
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.
20+ points, MatthewJukes.com.au (December 2020)
There's a distinct change of mood here, the fruits are black, the tannins are firm, the dark chocolate and fresh earth aromas are all those of a young, powerful wine refusing to take no for an answer. Its hewn from the bowels of the earth, but has exceptional balance that will ease its way through the 3 or so years down the track prior to its release.
95 points, Wine Companion (August 2019)
Deep, dark red colour with a good purple tint. The bouquet has a blackberry jam or 'Blackberry Nip' aroma that is reminiscent of the old Hardys vintage port styles from this region. It's full-bodied and rich, fleshy and verges on the opulent, the flavour decadently sweet and lush in the mouth, the tannins meltingly fleshy and dense, with a little oaky grip on the finish.
94 points, The Real Review (May 2019)