This February Hugh Hamilton Wines has released a new range of wines named the Dark Arts. On Tuesday night we were invited to the launch of these never-before tasted wines. Held at modern Russian Gastro Pub Red October, the dimly lit basement set the scene for wonder, imagination and surprise. The night was opened by magician/comedian Paul Dabek who wowed the audience with his masterful illusions and had us in stiches with his raw wit. But the real star were the 4 new wines which were introduced by CEO Mary Hamilton and wine maker Nic Bourke.
The Dark Arts Series is all about questioning the rule book of wine making. They are a series of wine blends of combination that are rarely seen, so they challenge the industries status quo. As the night went on we were introduced to the wines Black Ops, Stunt Double, Three Card Monte and Agent Provocateur. What is it about these wines that are so unique? The Black Ops is an original blend of 66% Shiraz and 34% Saperavi, while the Stunt Double combines 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, with, would you believe it 12% Sauvignon Blanc! It’s described as a red wine for white wine drinkers. The Three Card Monte, harnesses the classic combination of Shiraz and Cabernet while pushing the envelope with the inclusion of 15% Montepulciano and finally Agent Provocateur brings Grenache, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc together.
The labels are art themselves, patterns of black and silver wrapped around the bottle. They patterns are more than just aesthetics. They are a code for what’s inside. On the back of the label is the key, each varietal in the series is symbolised by a unique pattern and then represented on the front according to the percentage of that grape in the blend.
It is so clear when listening to the wine maker and CEO how close to their heart this wines series is. Its clearly a passion project and the result is an outstanding, polarising yet appealing collection. The plan is to keep going with the Dark Arts Series, each year crafting the range by looking at what the grapes reveal.
The Hugh Hamilton Wines Dark Arts Series will be available to buy at the cellar door and online.
Words by Kate Wilkinson