Alongside Tyrrell's and McWilliam's, the wines of Hardys would have to be some of the biggest show ponies around, as many flaunt their achievements like an old rich guy with a blonde bombshell. However, as much as I'd hate to admit it, most of the wines I've had with a complete gold necklace on the outside, turn out to be pretty good on the inside. Chalk one up for the show judges!
Starvedog Lane's sparkling isn't just something of an Adelaide Hills benchmark, it's also one of the best value vintage fizzers in Australia. The 2004 reinforces this point, with its crisp, lively nose combining character with clarity. There's a scent of white peach inside, joined by impressions of white bread, oyster shell and a slight richness, with a fine, high tone of ginger providing great appeal. Mineral complexity and an expansive effervescence highlight its pure, clean palate, which hits all the right spots along the way, imparting grapefruit and nashi pears for taste, tight citric acids for vibrant, stringy structure, and a persistent, steely dryness punctuated by mineral tones for lasting impression. Its flavour is notably clear, or lean even, but for a sparkling so cheap there's a lot going on in the mouth, and in every direction.
ü+ What a great pair this makes alongside Hardys' 2004 Oomoo Sparkling Shiraz (92pts). Both wines offer delicious immediate drinking, or the opportunity to grow further with a little more bottle age. Ed Carr, take a bow! Drink to 2014.