Ox Hardy Slate Shiraz comes from winemaker Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy. Continuing his family’s rich winemaking legacy in McLaren Vale, this Shiraz fruit was made in the ruins of Thomas Hardy’s original Upper Tintara winery. It is a pure and nuanced wine of medium body, made in small batches to best capture the essence of very special terroir.
The fruit for Slate comes from the Moreton Bay block of the Hardy family vineyard. It is open fermented, basket pressed, and matured for 18 months in French oak barriques. Much of the labour is carried out by hand. This is a small batch wine of incredible presence and precision. On the palate, expect coffee, dark chocolate, and dark berry fruits.
If you take every word that I have written in the 2018 vintage note for slate and swop out the Bandol reference for Cornas from Allemande you will see, once again, that this statesmanlike 2019 Slate Shiraz has nailed it again. If anything, this vintage contains even more potential and even deeper wells of thrilling fruit. There are coffee notes, hung game hints, dark chocolate and tar references, but these are filigree details to the all-pervasive, omnipotent Shiraz fruit. Once again, this is not a big wine. This is important to underline. It is a medium weight fellow with mind-bending purity and intensity and this is what makes it so unforgettable and also desirable.
19+ points, MatthewJukes.com.au (December 2020)