History and Fashion come together
Author: Mary and Hugh Date Posted:18 October 2017
Every family has a secret. Ours dates back to 1837. A moment in history that changed our family forever.
But what is the point of having a secret if you don’t share it with those closest to you?
To celebrate the 180th anniversary of the Hamilton family’s first vintage, partnered with the Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF) to share the passion, quirk, and genius that has seen six generations of Hamiltons create a legacy of unique wines. These drops have inspired some of the greatest conversations and pioneering feats in the Australian wine industry.
On October 14, for one night only, we took over the runway of the AFF and hosted an exquisite black-tie dinner. Hosted by Hugh and myself, guests shared in the revelry and mystery of Australia’s oldest wine making family. Maverick chef Simon Bryant curated an imaginative five-course degustation dinner that traced the Hamilton legacy through the decades.
This is a once in a lifetime event will be remembered as a defining moment in South Australian history.
As an official partner of the AFF, four of our wines were available at the AFF bar throughout the festival. Just like all Hugh Hamilton Wines, these drops are far from ordinary and were carefully selected to give your night just the right mix of drama, intrigue, mystery and thrill:
Add a bit of drama to your night with a glass of our ‘Drama Queen’. This ‘Drama Queen’ is no fake. She’s a right and proper méthode traditionelle sparkling that can kick her heels up with even the best of her French friends whilst she’s in her youth. Her 2012 vintage saw an extended cool summer, with moderate rainfall and little disease, which allowed the fruit to ripen slowly on the vine, creating complex and distinct varietal characters along with succulent natural acidity.
Most winemakers (myself included) care little for fashion style – but wine style is critical! Is this a Pinot ‘gris’ style or Pinot ‘grigio’ style? The latter, dear reader, the latter. Why? Because we deliberately picked the fruit early to retain the quintessential crisp, light, fine qualities of both the variety and the region. It’s crisper and drier than your average Gris. There’s a reason for that – it’s all about the food. The perfect drop to enjoy with your meal.
Sangiovese is a grape that has a lot going for it. 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. A decade ago, fresh young reds were rare, and rarely taken seriously. These days they are more common, and critics pay much more attention! We are not after attention per se; our 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!
Add a bit of spice to your night. You don’t need to know much, other than the ‘Black Ops’ side of this wine is the blending of Australia’s great red grape, Shiraz, with that of Georgia: Saperavi. It’s a Dark Art, blending. In this case the addition of a splash of Nero D'Avola has produced something rare and special. When was it done? Shortly before bottling, after the wines had been matured in barrel. When we knew they’d work as a team, and not assassinate each other as soon as we turned our backs.
Based around our 'Floozie' Sangiovese Rosé. A dash of gin, the eminently mixable 'Hugh's Mixed Up' Shiraz Cordial, then a splash of soda. Mix this onto ample ice, add a dash of orange bitters, and then garnish. A perfect aperitif!
We hope you enjoyed the Adelaide Fashion Festival!