William Hardy releases
‘Only my wife calls me William, usually when I’m in deep shit. William!!’
That’s 5th generation Hardys family member Bill (William) Hardy putting an entertaining spin on the context for Hardy’s new William Hardy range. As you can gather, the range is named after Bill, even though he’s clearly a Bill rather than a William (but William sounds much more prestigious, naturally).
What is most interesting about calling the family naming of this range is that, unlike the Thomas Hardy and Eileen Hardy wines, Bill has neither retired or died recently. Perhaps that makes him an anomaly, or, more likely, just demonstrates that this range is a rather different beast compared to Eileen and Thomas.
For one, these wines aren’t selling at icon prices – just $21 will get you a bottle (sometimes with change if you buy on special). Like Bill, the wines are meant to be openly affable and drinkable immediately – regionally expressive with a ‘new world nose and mid palate but with an old world savouriness’.
All sounds good.
For all of the intent, the biggest challenge with this range is that they’re just bit too spotless – big company wines that taste like they’ve been made for a pricepoint. I’m being picky, of course (and the Cabernet is really quite handy), but a little extra character would make many of these a shedload more interesting…
All of these were tasted at the launch event in South Australia and then again back at home. All of the scores went up at home, except for the Chardonnay. Background notes are in italics. All wines have an RRP of $21.
Sourced from vines on three of the ‘typical’ Coonawarra soil types (terra rossa clay over limestone, transitional brown rendzina and the ‘black goo’ black rendzina), this is 90% Cabernet with 10% Merlot – a handy mix for Coonawarra reds, just needing to swap out the Merlot for Shiraz…
What I like about this wine is that it has some of that open-fermented, basket-pressed, silken richness and shapely tannins. Gently fruit-forward and generous in that modern vein, it is perhaps a little simple and juicy initially, yet finishes quite firm and nicely extractive.
Ultimately, once the puppy fat of youth settles down, you get the feeling this will be a handy, well priced Coonawarra Cab that is worth hunting down. 17.5/20, 91/100+ Easily