Andrew Hardy Little Ox 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
The Little Ox is named after wine maker, owner Andrew Hardy, of Hardy family fame. Around 650 cases were made, so based on the previous review of the 2005 and the quality of this, the current 2006 release, it's quite simple, get it while you can. Dense and richly fruited, but light on its feet in relationship to its concentration, this is endowed with finer grained almost powdery tannins and is loaded up with a combination of both red and blue fruit on its medium fuller, fuller frame. Juicy, but dry, with some chewy density on the finish, this is still quite primary and evolving, but everything is in place for big reviews again. Hopefully there will be some around when the tallies come forth. The smart money will place their bets now.
"Ruby-red. Spicy red berry aromas are brightened by subtle white pepper and floral qualities. Juicy and fresh on the palate, with red berry element gaining richness with air and taking a turn to cherry. The spiciness builds through the long, energetic finish of this well-balanced shiraz."
-International Wine Cellar
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Little Ox spent 20 months in seasoned barriques before bottling without fining or filtration. It is opaque purple in color with a superb nose of mineral, cedar, blackberry, and blueberry. Rich and layered, it will evolve for several years but can be enjoyed now. It is an outstanding value."
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Spicy red berry aromas are brightened by subtle white pepper and floral qualities. Juicy and fresh on the palate, with red berry element gaining richness with air and taking a turn to cherry. The spiciness builds through the long, energetic finish of this well-balanced shiraz."
Andrew Hardy Winery
With grapes grown by the winemaker’s father, Robert G. Hardy, son Andrew takes special care to produce wine that is rich and bold for a classic old vine Australian Shiraz. These vines date back to 1891 and can be found on the upper Tintara vineyard in McLaren Vale. Made by winemaker Andrew “Ox” Hardy, these are exceptionally limited and carefully crafted wines. Alas, there’s precious little to go around. However, the 2007 release of a new wine called “Little Ox” is cause for great excitement - cuttings were taken from the original block and planted on a reconditioned hillside on the same property. The result – textbook Shiraz with a pedigree like no other at a fabulous price. View all Andrew Hardy Wines
About McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area with the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which contributes a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
Notable FactsIn McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the most-planted grapes of the region. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the region are excellent.
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.
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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.