The Date and Time: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 Noon – 3 PM
The Event: Tasting and Lunch with Bill Hardy and the William Hardy series of wines.
The Venue: Canoe
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: only 2 of the wines are in Ontario (see below): most of the others are in BC and PQ.
The Quote/Background: Bill Hardy spoke about 160 years of Hardy history and the thoughts behind each of the wines, his voice sailing over the noisy neighbouring tables. The wines spoke for themselves, although Bill contributed his points as Brand Ambassador and as the name behind the launch of the William Hardy series of wines. The winemaking seemed to emphasize a combination of new world and old world textures and structures.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Hardy's Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2013, $60 SAQ, $65 BC – fruit from Tasmania and Yarra Valley, richly oaked but lemony on finish (combo of new world and old world). 13% ABV.
-Hardy's Eileen Hardy Shiraz 2010, $85 PQ, $95.50 BC – deep, dark and delicious, ready soon. Lots of black fruit and smoke. 14% ABV. Twist top. Both Eileens scored with me.
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Hardy's Chronicles Butcher's Gold Shiraz Sangiovese 2012, +219139, $14.95 – tight and acidic on finish (great with food) with sangiovese cherries, balanced by mid palate mocha and blackberries. 80% shiraz. Better after it was open awhile. Twist top. 14% ABV.
-Hardy's Winemakers Rare Release Handpicked Shiraz 2008, $269.95 FOB, not available in Canada – very mute at first, took a long time to open up. Fruit from very old vines in McLaren, Clare and Frankland River. Six different Burgundian coopers' oak barrels were used. Power and potential are there but it needed a lot more time, despite being 7 years old. Twist top. 14.5% ABV.
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Hardy's William Hardy Sauvignon Blanc 2013, $23.25 BC only – new world middle palate (off-dry) with an old world finish (higher acid). Twist top, 12.5% ABV.
-Hardy's Stamp Of Australia Cabernet Merlot 2014, +582395, $9.90 – good new world quality for under $10 in Ontario. Juicy. 13% ABV. Twist top.
The Food: we ate a main course off the menu, with a charcuterie platter and a cheese platter for all. I had the cheeky main: halibut cheeks and pork cheeks. What I ate went with all the wines.
The Downside: the ambience was noisy from a packed crowd of diners, but Bill Hardy had a firm speaking voice.
The Upside: a chance to taste some really good expensive wines.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.