Hardys Whiskers Blake Port
Port from Australia
"Whiskers" The Man: Whiskers Blake was a roguish little bloke who worked in Hardys Tintara vineyard around the turn of the century. His job was scaring birds from the grapes with an old 8 gauge shotgun. He also took it upon himself to regularly test the products.
Rich tawny color with olive hues. The nose is reminiscent of chocolate with coffee overtones. The palate is smooth and mellow with good length and a dry finish. Classic rancio characters are also evident in this flavorsome wine.
International Wine Cellar - "Pinkish amber. Spicy redcurrant and toffee aromas are complicated by orange peel, molasses and fresh rose. A delicate and nicely focused tawny with toffeed apple and pear flavors and an exotic blood orange quality emerging on the back. This rather understated port shows good finishing lift and a lingering salted caramel character."
Wine Spectator - "Sweet and silky, balancing its roasted hazelnut, coffee and bitter chocolate flavors with a thread of cherry. The finish lingers gently. Drink now. 7,300 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "This widely available, bargain-priced tawny remains an Australian classic, offering toffee and walnut aromas and flavors along with dust-covered leather and just a hint of fresh fruit. It’s lighter in weight than you might expect from a Port-inspired New World wine, but offers a tasty drop on a wintry evening. "
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At the tender age of 20, Thomas Hardy, filled with the early pioneering spirit, left his home town of Gittisham, England to carve out his future in the newly established colony of South Australia. Arriving August 18, 1850 Thomas found work tending cattle in the surrounding hills of Adelaide. It was not long before Thomas sought a new challenge and, in an amazing twist of fate that would not be realised for a further 130 years, he moved south to work with a fellow Devonshire man by the name of John Reynell. Helping tend Reynell's recently established orchards and vineyards, Thomas quickly developed a keen understanding for both. This period of his life would serve him well in the years to come. In 1853 Thomas married Johanna and together they purchased a small block of land on the fertile banks of the River Torrens. Thomas' first site was aptly named Bankside.
By 1857 Thomas created his first slice of history by shipping two hogsheads of wine to England. This is commonly applauded as marking Australia's entry into the wine export market. With his Bankside cellars expanding throughout the 1860's towards capacity, Thomas looked again for expansion. He headed south to the now famous wine district of McLaren Vale, adding the struggling property of Tintara to his growing portfolio of wineries and vineyards. It was at Tintara that Thomas Hardy's winemaking genius was to be recognised on a world stage. A gold medal in 1882 awarded at the prestigious International Wine Show in Bordeaux, payed tribute to the man and his ability. In 1889 he experienced further international success with a gold medal at the much heralded Paris exhibition.
Thomas Hardy died two days prior to his 82nd birthday. The world agreed that this man, the founder of Thomas Hardy & Sons, had played one of the most significant roles in the development of the Australian Wine Industry.
In 1982, 129 years after Thomas Hardy & Sons was founded on the banks of the River Torrens, history turned a full circle with the Hardy family purchasing the Reynella based winery of Walter Reynella & Sons.
Thomas' family company moved headquarters from Adelaide to Reynella, converting the Reynell homestead and cellars where Thomas had lived and learned his trade, into the head office. An ironic twist of fate.
Hardys continued to grow and develop throughout the later 20th century culminating with a merger between Thomas Hardy & Sons and Berri Renmano in 1992, forming Australia's second largest wine company. View all Hardys Wines
About Other Australia
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales- home to Sydney and other tourist destinations, New South Wales has a smaller focused wine growing region, but many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations and so are deemed New South Wales appellation.
Western Australia– a small corner of Australia winemaking occurs on the opposite coast of the others. The largest state, Western Australia includes the smaller appellation of Margaret River.
Southeastern Australia– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in the country.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4 }div>4 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 4
- 4 Stars: 1
- 3 Stars: 0
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 1
6 ratings, 6 with reviews14/4/2010I do like sweet wines on occasion and thats why I bought this wine but it is extremly sweet. It is so sweet that we could not eat anything after this wine forget about drinking 2nd glass. This wine is sweeter than 10 chocolate chip pancakes with sweet syrup of IHOP.54/7/2010I'm an amateur wine and port enthusiast, and this stuff is great. I'm not a fan of ruby ports, so I've been searching for a tasty (and cheap) tawny port for night caps and the occasional cigar. Whiskers Blake fits the bill perfectly. Strongly recommended.SLNole - Tallahassee, FL46/4/2010This an excellent Port... Lighter in body than the Portuguese Ports, and the other Australian Port I love, Penfolds Club Port... The Penfolds is the only other quality Port that I have experienced, from Australia... Whiskers Blake is light & a bit sweet, but has a lovely finish... I have enjoyed several bottles with evening cigars, of medium strength, and found it quite complementary... Try a bottle, if you can find it...52/17/2008Bottle after bottle, this tawny stacks up against $50 Portuguese Tawnys at a fraction of the price. This is *the* reasonbly priced tawny port for a port drinker who is looking for the best port for the price. No contest. Would be at least 3x the price if it were Portuguese.l6blue - Saint Paul, MN51/28/2010Very good port for the price, although the flavor was not quite as rich as I was led to expect.Debbie - Brighton, MI51/21/2010Intense tawny flavors for a real deal
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
- 5 Stars: