Monday, May 5, 2014

The Wines of Dean Hewitson

Where do Hewitson wines fit in in the crowded space of Australian wine? They are probably best known for their 160 year old Mourvedre vineyard near Rowland Flat, from which the Old Garden Mourvedre is made, the oldest Mourvedre in Australia. Otherwise, there is a focus on Rhone varieties and the Barossa and McLaren Vale regions. Here is a review of their current red wines.

The 2012 Hewitson Miss Harry is an attractively priced GSM, which tastes very fresh, with red fruit and interesting herb flavours. Great value for money (92 points). The 2012 Hewitson Ned and Henry's Shiraz is darker, with savoury characters and a rustic finish (90 points). The 2012 Hewitson Baby Bush Mourvedre is made from cuttings from the old vines, but they are quite young at this point, and the wine is not well balanced (88 points). In contrast, the 2009 Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre has the balance of old vines, which often seems to come naturally. The wine is savoury, with attractive spice and good length. It does not match an old vine Shiraz in complexity and expression, though (93 points).

Then there are three other single vineyard wines. The 2012 Hewitson Basham's Beach Tempranillo comes from the Fleurieu  Peninsula. It is the first vintage from there since 2006. The wine is quite fruit forward and does not match the quality of the other wines (86 points). The 2012 Hewitson Mad Hatter Shiraz from Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale is a lighter style of Shiraz, with red fruit flavours dominant. There is spice in this wine and you could take it for a cooler climate Shiraz (91 points). I found the 2012 Hewitson Mother Vine Shiraz more satisfying. This wine originates from a single old Shiraz vine, which was found in the Mourvedre vineyard. New buds were then grafted onto other rootstocks. This wine tastes of black fruit, it has deeper flavours, yet is fresh (92 points).

Overall, this was quite a consistent line-up. The wines showed good varietal characteristics and are well made. They did not hit a particular high note, however.

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