Eileen Hardy Shiraz is a very opulent perfumed wine with ripe gamey blackberry/liquorice aromas, spicy nuances and fine silky dense tannins. The original Eileen Hardy Bin 80 Shiraz was first released in 1973 to mark family matriarch Eileen Hardy's 80th birthday. After an initial switch in the mid to late 1970s to Cabernet Sauvignon blends, the wine has evolved from a multi-regional blend to an entirely McLaren Vale derived Shiraz based on half century to century-old vineyards. At completion of fermentation, the wine is drained through traditional basket presses into a combination of roughly 25-33% new and seasoned French oak for around 14 to 18 months. This "living breathing creation" reflects a strong house winemaking ethos and exceptional vineyard resources. Since 2007 the wine has been bottled under screw-cap.
There was one immediate question hanging over the head of this wine before I tasted it: could it avoid the toughness of the '07 vintage? The answer is a slightly qualified yes, and more so than many of its peers. It is medium- to full-bodied, with an array of exotic spices running through the blackberry and licorice fruit, the tannins not impeding the flow of the wine in the mouth.
96 points, Wine Companion (March 2012)
Deep, rich red colour with tinges of both brick-red and purple. Very toasty barrel influenced bouquet, semi-mature and complex, with 'roasting pan' aromas and smoky, toasty fruit and oak interactions. The palate is rich, fleshy, smooth and beautifully balanced and textured. There's enough acid to provide a refreshing finish. Decadent wine, lush and rich and velvety, with excellent structure for long-term aging. The tannins are abundant and give it a good backbone, but they're smooth enough to drink and enjoy now.
94 points, The Real Review (February 2014)