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I recently found myself in McLaren Vale attending a 30–year vertical of Hardys’ Eileen Hardy Chardonnay, celebrating not only the wine, but one of the great women of the Australian wine industry.
Stories of Eileen Hardy OBE flowed across the table as several generations of Hardys told anecdotes of their family and winery history, the wines on the table being testament to one of the great lineages in Australian wine. I’ve always been a fan of the Eileen Chardonnay and have been lucky enough to try some cracking bottles over the years… it has pedigree. It is a wine that has evolved over the years, the 86 and 89 from Padthaway fruit still looking remarkably fresh for their age. Fruit was sourced from new regions over the years and today Tasmania and the Yarra Valley seem to be the preferred region. Mid–straw in colour with a gorgeous aromatic profile showing white peach, nectarine and citrus fruits. Hints of white flowers, nougat, almond paste, lemon curd, struck flint, clotted cream and beautifully judged, dreamy oak draw you into the glass. The new release shows great clarity and detail on the palate with the fruit aromas neatly transposing onto the palate with juicy white peach and nectarine again showing themselves along with Meyer lemon notes. There is a sense of richness to its flow, but these characters are tempered by a line of fine minerally acidity that drives the wine along. Hints of soft spice, cream, marzipan, almond blossom, struck quartz and French oak appear also, everything perfectly poised and in balance with impeccable tension between fruit and acidity. One of the great Australian Chardonnays. 2014 Eileen Hardy Chardonnay hardyswines.com