by Andrew Chalk
The Australian winery of Thomas Hardy was founded by an English emigre in 1853. It grew from a winery selling to a few neighbors in the state of South Australia, to one of the largest wine companies in Australia embracing over 13 brands and selling in over 85 countries.
Recently, Hardy’s chief winemaker, Paul Lapsley, came through town to introduce two additions to the lineup: William Hardy Chardonnay and William Hardy Shiraz. At approximately $17 retail both are targeted as popularly priced everyday wines for immediate drinking.
The William Hardy Chardonnay is made from a blend of cool climate coastal fruit and warm climate fruit from Riverside. The wine is fermented in oak barrels and then given a partial malolactic fermentation to soften the wine. Ageing takes place in old for 6 months. The result is a creamy wine with a hints of oak and citrus fruits. It is pleasant with or without food and would be a good choice as the pre-meal drink.
The Shiraz is likewise sourced from multiple locations (McLaren Vale and Riverland) and given a light oak treatment in French and American oak barrels. It stays in these for 8 months before bottling. This is a medium weight, fruit forward wine in which the tannins are soft enough to drink it now although they contribute enough structure for it to stand up to heavy meats.