This is one of the Hardy’s wineries in the Mclaren Vale Wine region (the other is at Chateau Reynella). Hardy’s was established in 1853 with Tintara Cellars established in 1861 so they have been around for a while. Hardy’s and Tintara are owned by Constellation Wines. The Tintara cellar door is on Mclaren Vale’s Main Street (see map). The cellar door has expansive grounds – both grassed area and gardens and is just the area to sit and relax after or during a hard days wine tasting. Plenty of room for the kids to run around and the area is the start of the popular end of Mclaren Vale’s main street. Across the road is the Robern Menz sweets and chocolate factory outlet (I recommend this one to visit for the sweet toothed amongst us) and along the road are many shopping opportunities including excellent cafe’s. So the kids can play on the lawns or go with Mum to buy some chocolates, Mum can go shopping or have a coffee in one of the cafe’s and Dad can taste some wine – or some other combination! The cellar door is open 10am to 4:30 pm 7 days per week. Web address is www.tintara.com.au.
The Tintara Cellar Door has decided to only serving the Tintara range (with an exception of the Oomoo Sparking Shiraz which is available on weekends). Discussions with the cellar door staff indicated that there is consideration to make other Hardy wines available for tasting (including some overseas wines). If this occurs I will let the readers of the Lonely Grape know of this change. The wines are split into 2 groups – the Tintara range (cellar door only wines) and the premium Single Vineyard Range. I will review the Tintara range this week and the Single Vineyard Series next week.
The Tintara range has been produced to show all that is good about the Mclaren Vale wine region. These wines are made from Mclaren Vale fruit only.
2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($A15)
This wine was a pleasant surprise – a Sauvignon Blanc that did not smell and taste of cut grass or vats pee. The aroma from this wine was passonfruit with hints of citrus and guava on the palate. Very enjoyable and remember not to drink this too cold. This one would be great on a Sunday afternoon with friends or with a warn chicken salad.
2007 Spatlese Riesling ($A15)
Another surprise. Anything with Spatlese normally indicates to me that the wine will be almost lolly sweet with some hope of tasting the wine. I would not normally even try this wine – but for you my readers I thought there should be a complete tasting. The wine was somewhat closed on the nose (ie not alot of aroma) and the palate was not cloyed by sugar but showed some lychee characters with a lingering finish. This wine would be a good compliment with spicy Asian food.
2007 Sangiovese ($A25)
This wine can be served chilled (the cellar door staff served mine in a chilled glass to bring the temperature of the wine down). The aroma has hints of cherries with the palate having good fruit, overall a nice lighter style red to have with pizza.
2005 Grenache ($A25)
This wine won a trophy at the 2008 Royal Adelaide Wine Show for the “Best other varietal/blend” and a Gold Medal at the Mclaren Vale Wine Show. Even though this wine has 10 months seasoned french oak maturation the wine is quite fruit driven. The processing of the wine using open top fermenters and basket pressing has been worth the effort as this wine is an excellent expression of Mclaren Vale Grenache as it should be. Lots of dark cherry fruit with hints of all spice, star anise and cinnamon. As it is a 2005 wine this wine can be easily enjoyed now or kept for a number of years and in all cases this wine would be enjoyed. This one came home with me and I will be drinking it with a lamb tagine with the father in law when he comes to visit in a couple of weeks.
2006 Tempranillo ($A25)
The Tempranillo has had some quality treatment – small oak open topped fermenters, french oak and basket pressed and the wine repays the treatment. Almost sweet fruit on the nose (I know you cannot smell sweetness but this was the best association I could come up with) and a good structure and lingering finish.
2006 Shiraz ($A27)
This wine has had 15 months oak treatment (french and american oak) and shows the typical high quality wine we expect from Mclaren Vale Shiraz. Good plum characters with the spice finish – bring on the BBQ T-bone steak.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($A27)
This wine had 17 months in french oak and shows the typical cabernet wine – leafy characters with blackcurrant fruit and an almost chocolate finish. Another good Cabernet from the Mclaren Vale wine region.
2007 Reserve Grenache ($A50)
The wine had 12 months on 3 – 4 year old oak barrels, in other words another fruit driven wine. A complex wine showing hints of musk, spices and mulberries. I preferred the 2005 Grenache (reviewed above) to drink now but this wine will only improve with time, give it at least 5 years and you will have a wine you may struggle to want to share with anybody.
The Oomoo range was one of the first labels from Hardys in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Oomoo was adapted from local aboriginal dialect meaning good.
2004 Clare Valley Sparkling Shiraz ($A21)
This wine would normally only be available for tasting on the weekends but I was able to talk my way into a tasting. The wine was flat so it was not a full tasting appreciation of the overall wine. However, I could ascertain that this was a bit wine with plenty of fruit structure (dark cherries and spice) mixed with the vanillian oak characters typical of American oak. This is a serious wine and not just some sweet red with bubbles. The obvious age on the wine makes it perfect to drink now. Recommendation for food matching would be liver pate or roast turkey with cranberry sauce (one of these will be on the Christmas table in a few months).