Hugh Hamilton ‘Stunt Double’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc 2016£17.95
Elusive and fiercely independent Black Sheep wines from Hugh Hamilton will not be pinned down. The Dark Arts is a range of wines from varieties that are not meant to go together, but work! They refuse to be part of the status quo; they are wine as art. Made off the grid in an unconventional style that is all about varietals in quirky combos.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing the unexpected triumph over the norm – no less spectacular than watching a man in a jumpsuit leap 19 cars on a Harley and stick the landing. What could easily be seen as no more than a publicity stunt is actually a true and death-defying leap into the unknown. It’s not as crazy as you may think, or maybe it is. Either way, it works.
Download the Tasting Note here.
Hugh Hamilton ‘The Mongrel’ Sangiovese Blend 2016£16.95
A decade ago, fresh young reds were rare, and rarely taken seriously. These days they are more common, and critics pay much more attention! Hugh Hamilton are not after attention per se; their aim is to take the best of Sangiovese – always the core of ‘The Mongrel’ – and build on it, in a perfumed, savoury, unchallenging style: fresh, bright and lively!
85% Sangiovese 13.5% Grenache 1.5% Sauvignon Blanc – Sangiovese is a grape that has a lot going for it. Think savoury, meaning it’s great with food; it has a cherry flavour which is a contrast to most other grapes we grow and it holds very good tannin structure. Its natural acidity means it always has an interesting and lively palate. However, if you really want to make this wine ‘sing’ it needs a little touching up with something else and in this vintage, that is a splash of Grenache and Sauvignon Blanc.
With a nose that is a fruity-earthy mix of tar, raspberry, and maple syrup and a palate of supple textured, muscular palate of length and mid-weight. The intense perfume ‘blooms’ across the palate. Crunchy. Shiny polished leather.
The Mongrel is best matched with a simple pasta e polpette (meat-balls) dish with grated parmesan and fresh parsley. In fact any rich, tomato-based dish will be a perfect match!
Hugh Hamilton ‘The Rascal’ Shiraz 2015£17.95
The Rascal Shiraz is just that – a bold, brash interpretation of McLaren Vale’s hero variety with a dense bouquet of black cherries, dark plums and mulberries. A nose of fresh liquorice and warm earth. Black-fruits fill the mouth with some spicy oak adding complexity while vigorous tannins wagging the wine’s long satisfying ‘tail. It’s the perfect wine to pair with dukkah crusted lamb – those hearty tannins quickly mopping up the lamb’s hit of protein and flavourful fat.
Hugh Hamilton ‘The Scoundrel’ Tempranillo 2016£16.95
This Hugh Hamilton Tempranillo has savoury leather & cherry characteristics of the Spanish Tempranillo blended to add the mid-palate weight, balance & fruit of the other varieties.
With a medium body this wine is perfect with a paella, or any Spanish foods.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Agent Provocateur’ Grenache, Gewurztraminer, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier 2017£21.50
Hugh Hamilton is the 5th generation of a large wine dynasty and is regarded as the black sheep of the family.
His daughter and 6th generation of the family, Mary, continues the legacy making Hugh Hamilton Australia’s oldest wine family.
Hugh is the master of a most reprobate flock and his Agent Provocateur is a member of his Dark Arts range – a range of wines from varieties that are not meant to go together but work!
Agent Provocateur is an established style of wine which was first produced in 2014. It looks scary on paper but Grenache, Gewurztraminer, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier work together; truly every component in this blend performs a specific task.
Clear, red violet
Cola and Turkish Delight jockey with star anise, raspberry and rose oil in a bouquet that leaps from the glass provided by the Grenache and Gewurztraminer.
The Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier complete a textural profile that lends weight without sweetness. The supple texture of the white varieties form a perfect counterpoint to the grippier tannins of the reds.
This wine can even be chilled a little. We like it best with Peking Duck and pancakes or some pulled pork burgers.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Ancient Earth’ Shiraz 2013£37.50
McLaren Vale has some of the most variable, ancient and
weathered soils on the planet. 19 different soil types have been
identified in one of the most detailed soil studies carried out in
any wine region. It is for this reason behind the name ‘Ancient
Earth’. It is a single-vineyard Shiraz from the beautiful sweep of
vines immediately to the south of our Cellar Door; aptly named ‘Cellar Vineyard’. So what’s special about the earth? The earth is
known locally as ‘Biscay soil’. It is also referred to as ‘selfmulching
black cracking clay’ and these soils have unique
properties. Slow to wet, they can tightly hold a large volumes of
water. Unfortunately the soil is not so generous in giving the vines
access to this moisture so in heatwave conditions the vines can
stress quite quickly. On the other hand, correctly managed, the
resulting wine can be quite magnificent. Shiraz thrives here and
can produce fruit with great fragrance and power, but a structure
which guarantees ageing potential.
The bouquet is fragrant with spicy fruit, and shows notes of
raspberry. You will find a hint of toast from French oak barriques.
On the palate, the wine is rich & spicy with chocolatey depth.
Once again, there is toast and spice from oak; lingering blackberry
fruit with pleasantly gritty tannins.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘The Ratbag’ Merlot, 2014£17.95
Hugh Hamilton is the 5th generation of a large wine dynasty and is regarded as the black sheep of the family. His daughter and 6th generation of the family, Mary, continues the legacy, making Hugh Hamilton winery Australia’s oldest wine family.
McLaren Vale is red wine heaven, with an ideal climate for bigger-bodied reds, but, with careful site selection, the region can grow pretty much anything. Merlot can be more difficult than some, with erratic yield and ripening habits; its unpredictability is sufficient reason for calling it ‘The Ratbag’. It certainly has a
character all its own.
The Ratbag is always a reminder to Hugh that Merlot is so much more than just a soft red wine. Each year the fruit that grows in their Church Vineyard tenaciously produces the most varietal Merlot I have ever tasted – not only soft, but full of character and class.
Nose and Palate
Garden and forest jostle – strawberries, spearmint, and pink lady apples, give way to fresh turned soil, woody herbs, forest floor, and wild roses. Further layers of molasses, leather, char, and vanilla pod add dimension and depth.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘The Villain’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2016£17.95
With the luxury of drawing weighty, textured Cabernet from the cracking black soil of Hugh Hamilton’s Cellar block and blending this with the high tone perfume of the Black Sheep block, Hugh is able to produce a wine of both presence and elegance.
A compelling perfume of roses, cherry wood, and incense.
Char, roses and Darjeeling tea. A fine texture as of emery.
Hugh Hamilton, ‘Three Card Monte’ Shiraz, Cabernet, Montepulciano 2016£18.95
In a Three Card Monte, as hard as the mark tries to choose a
winning card from three, the dealer always wins. Hugh Hamilton have turned
this on its head by using only winning cards, so that the real trick
is not which but how well all three go together. A neat trick where
everyone is a winner.
Australia has always excelled in creating red blends – merging
classic European varieties in un-thought of ways to create
unthinkably good new combinations. Cabernet and Shiraz are one
such classic collision; Bordeaux meets the Rhone. It’s only
Australian to add a slab of Italian Abruzzo too.
Nose and Palate
A meaty/spicy mix of Christmas cake and charcuterie. A collision
of violets, cranberries, baking spices, and mulberry. A clean acid
line keeps everything together; complex, crunchy, and deliciously
alive in the glass
Download Tasting Note here
Hugh Hamilton, “Goldilocks”, Moscato (500ml)£13.50
Goldilocks is not too heavy and not too light! Low in alcohol, with palate-friendly sweetness, balanced fresh acidity, and a little fizz. Pale pink with orange hints – and tiny bubbles, evidence of the spritz retained at bottling.
Muscat character is best described as, well… “muscat character”. But that’s not much help… so let’s try “floral”, “grapy”, “musky”, “sweet”, “fruity”. Maybe “Turkish delight”. Goldilocks is for every hour of the day! Think brunch time with blueberry pancakes or eggs Benedict. It’s just the thing in the afternoon in the garden with a jam scone.
As the sun goes down Goldilocks sparkles, enjoy a glass or two before you go out, or as a pre-dinner drink. After the main meal this is the ideal sorbet to refresh the palate. Serve chilled!
Please note that Goldi comes in 500ml bottles.
Hugh Hamilton, “The Mongrel” Sangiovese, 2012£14.95
Sangiovese is a great food wine with its fascinating mixture of sweet cherry/berry fruit wrapped around a serious core of acidity & tannins. This is a stylish, medium weighted wine with a bold flavour and a persistent finish.
Hugh Hamilton, “The Rascal” Shiraz, 2012£19.95
Premium Shiraz from McLaren Vale’s most visited and award-winning cellar door, Hugh Hamilton wines. Undoubtedly this is still a Shiraz but Hugh decided to harvest his grapes before over-ripening took place. It is not the general blackcurrant notes but more raspberry, licorice instead of plum – and yes, and olives instead of jam. There is oak there, too and French but it is in the background where it should be. A refined result!
Hugh Hamilton, Floozie, Sangiovese Rosé 2016£13.95
We like our rosé fresh and lively – which is why it’s based on Sangiovese … famed for its crisp acidity and bright aromas and flavours. Floozie will not doubt make for a happier human race – or at least a few select members who partake of this wine!
out of stock
Hugh Hamilton, Jekyll & Hyde, Shiraz Viognier 2015£26.50
If you are a wine geek, you know of ‘co-fermentation’; a process in which two varieties (in this case, red Shiraz and white Viognier) are picked on the same day and blended at the crusher. This produces a result quite different to blending ‘finished’ red and white wines. The tannin and fragrance of the small amount of Viognier are amplified by the process, and the resultant wine is more fragrant and shows greater depth and even-ness of tannin structure than we’d otherwise see. (Hugh won’t mind admitting he swiped the idea from the French).
There aren’t many times I can think of when adding a lighter
colour leads to a darker one but the Jekyll is just that kind of
paradox. By co-fermenting the varieties the Viognier skins help
the colour molecules to form more stable complexes, and thereby
create a darker colour.
NOSE AND PALATE
Fragrant orange blossom, jasmine, and violets. Pulpy dark fruits,
plums, dark cherries, and cedar. The palate rolls with toasty oak,
peach notes, more plums, and firm French oak. The resonant,
lingering palate manages to be both structured and soft textured
– like a favourite pair of jeans.
FILTER BY PRICE
- Red 4