(2001) Very understated nose with reasonable spiciness and some soft, downy fruit. Soft fruit profile on the palate too, but a bit unexciting.
(2000) Fine bubbles. Lots of toasty, vanillin richness again on the nose. Lots of body to the mousse and a generous, full, peachy palate.
(1999) Very fresh and lemony nose, nice light mousse and clean and refreshing palate. Simple, good, ideal for the garden or parties.
(1999) Much creamier nose, more yeasty character too and a toasty, nutty quality. Good citrus and peach fruit and rich mousse. Nice stuff.
(1999) The wine has a very pungent, oily, green-bean and asparagus nose. Very distinctive. There are fine, ripe fruit flavours on the palate of apple, melon and gooseberry. The wine has low acidity but good length and avoids being flabby as the soft acidity persists into the finish. A low-key but very tasty style.
(1998) Warm ruby colour. Nice, juicy blackcurrant fruit on the nose rounded out with vanilla oak. Warm berry flavours on the palate with a nice smoky edge and a chewy texture. Maybe a little bit dried-out on the finish, but not enough to spoil its appeal.
(1998) Interestingly, this is the second release of this wine in 1997 and this time the blend is different. I really enjoyed it first time round, but now it contains a proportion of mourvedre instead of the less glamorous ruby cabernet, along with shiraz and grenache. The result is a wine with a bright ruby colour and a nose of dark, briary fruit, earthy and with hints of the barnyard. On the palate it is smooth and flavorsome, with juicy, berry fruit, a coffee richness and a nice spicy finish. Great value.
(1998) From this year's vintage and made by Hardy's. The wine is a pale to medium ruby/pink. It has an earthy nose, with hints of the farmyard, rotting vegetation and animal notes. There is also dark berry fruit. On the palate these very brooding flavours follow through, but plenty of sweet, ripe, strawberry fruit then emerges. Though it is soft and mouth-filling, it lacks concentration and finishes rather weakly. A decent expression of these grapes and a tasty wine nevertheless.
(1998) This wine has a beautiful, glowing golden colour. The nose is rich and buttery with peach and super-ripe tropical fruit aromas. On the palate it is weighty with butterscotch and honeyed flavours, hints of liquorice and an excellent citrus acidity. A flavourful wine with a long, spicy finish. Delicious.
(1998) Bottled by Thomas Hardy, this has a pale, glowing golden colour. Nose is very aromatic with a vivid aroma of ground ginger (like ginger-cream candy sweets from my childhood) as well as honey and tropical fruit. On the palate rich and alcoholic (13.5%) with honeysuckle, white-fruit flavours, as well as more unctuous guava and pineapple notes. It is nicely rounded with spicy oak but is fresh and appetising. It has a long finish and is rather good overall.