hardysThe Eileen Hardy wine range is the top end of the ‘Accolade Wines’ ladder. To quote the Hardy's Wines’ website, “Eileen Hardy was [the] family matriarch, an indomitable spirit and the first lady of Australian wine. Since taking over at the helm from her late husband Tom Mayfield Hardy, Eileen continued to build the Hardys brand and was recognised with an OBE for her outstanding contribution to the Australian wine industry”.

Mention Hardy’s in the UK and the first thought that comes to mind is oceans of competitively priced South Eastern Australian wine available in huge volumes. The Hardy’s brand sits in the ‘Accolade Wine’ portfolio the largest producer of wine in Australia. Also in the portfolio are the brands Banrock Station, Berri Estates, Omni, Houghton and several others not just from here but the USA and South Africa as well. These are large brands making millions of litres of wine and satisfying the thirst of millions of wine drinkers all over the world daily.

It’s heartening to think that amongst all the hustle of mass production there is a quiet corner where fine wine is being crafted; wine we can all be proud of no matter where it is poured on the planet. The prices appear steep but in global terms are not, so splash out buy a bottle or two and share with the one you love. There is no need to put on a fancy dinner party - simple but good food will do - go on you know you deserve it.  

Hardy's Eileen Hardy McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007: It’s rapier-like on the tongue, unlike many shirazes that are akin to a broadsword slashing away at the flavour points. It dances across the palate, the top notes showing the pleasure to come. The aftertaste and return journey is very beautiful, with all the flavours merging and creating a whole. It’s pricy at $90 but if you’re into wine it is well worth it and in my opinion scores 97 points.

Hardy's Eileen Hardy Tasmania Pinot Noir 2007: Carefully constructed, with the result being a very smooth wine of good character. There’s no doubting the quality of the fruit or of the wine making. It’s an easy 94 points and for this level of Pinot Noir about $70 is the price to pay. From a purely personal view I would have liked more feral character.

Hardy's Eileen Hardy Tasmania Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2012: Not only a beautiful lady, but also gracious and elegant. It’s not fully developed but all parts are in place. Perhaps it’s better described as a young lady in early teenage years; the beauty can be seen but more time is needed for it to develop fully. 93 points now but more to come. $73 is a fair price to pay in global terms.

Tony Keys