A little slice of history here. This McLaren Vale shiraz was fermented in an old, open slate fermenter in the historic Tintara winery built in 1863 with slate mined from the nearby Willunga Hills. The Tintara fermenters were reportedly last used in 1927!
Wax-lined slate and concrete fermenters are finding renewed favour with many Aussie winemakers. They are excellent for stabilising temperature during fermentation and, being porous, they can contribute texture to a wine. Ox Hardy Slate Shiraz reveals a lovely seamless quality and, yes, there’s plenty of texture here.
Deep, dense garnet red. Concentrated perfume redolent of violets, dried herbs, black fruits and earth. There’s an open and generous Vale quality to the wine. Eighteen months maturation in seasoned French oak shows thoughtful winemaking, choosing to make the fruit the focus and allowing the wine its vitality and youth but with the promise to age nicely.
I was particularly taken by an almost exotic savoury note – kind of pomegranate, kind of Mediterranean spice – that peeks through. This wine has energy to burn.