Andrew Hardy Little Ox Shiraz 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
A big, ripe fruit spicy McLaren Vale Shiraz. Ripe, dark cherry on nose, with a hint of chocolate and mocha. Palate full, rich, with just a hint of oak. Lovely soft ripe tannin complements the fruit driven finish. A soft, but weighty traditional McLaren Vale Shiraz.
"The vines for the 2005 Shiraz "Little Ox" were planted in 1999, grown from cuttings taken from the original vines planted in 1891. The wine is opaque purple/black with glass-coating glycerin. The impressive nose consists of brooding black cherry and blueberry aromas with notes of spice box, game, chocolate and espresso. This leads to a remarkably layered, full-bodied wine with spicy dark fruit flavors, superb balance, well- concealed tannin, and a 45+ second finish. This spectacular value will improve with 3-5 years of additional cellaring and drink well through 2020. Talk about over-delivering! Serious Shiraz lovers might feel embarrassed to cellar a $17 wine but it is unlikely that this wine will ever be this inexpensive again. Take advantage." 93 Points
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.
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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.
In 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.
Like 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
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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.