An Australian Wine Blog

This Wine Blog

This Australian wine blog was formerly known as

I'm a wine drinker, and this blog is about wine, not just Australian wine.

If you wish to contact me, please do so here.
All content of this Australian Wine Blog © Stuart Robinson - The Vinsomniac. Powered by Blogger.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hewitson Old Garden Mourvèdre 2002

"Making this wine is not a challenge,
it's a humbling experience"
- Dean Hewitson, CEO & Winemaker, Hewitson Wines 

Made from eight rows of Mourvèdre, reputed to be oldest of the variety in the world, approaching 160 years now.  Dry grown, all original - no replants.  From the Rowland Flat sub-region of the Barossa Valley, situated in the perfect soil for Mataro: deep sand over Limestone.  It's quite amazing to comprehend that this wine is a living link to the origins of settlement of the Barossa Valley and its wine industry.  It seems that it's only now that old vine material is starting to be truly appreciated.  The Barossa Valley has an old vine charter, these vines fall into the top tier of Ancestor Vines.

2002 was the first year that Hewitson placed the wine into 100% new French oak.  Now approaching ten years of age, this wine is hitting it's straps.  Herb, tobacco and leather abound initially.  Given some time, some perfume shows itself.  The palate is earthen, there's more tobacco and leather.  More than this, the wine shows incredible depth.  Yes it's a touch raisiny, but it's rustic charm more than compensates for this.

The spice starts to build early on in the mid-palate, continues, providing a focal length through the middle.  Tannin is dry and chalky.  There's a fair burst of heat present, initially distracting, it soon fades into the background.  Over the course of the evening the wine softens a little, yielding some coffe-ish notes - Camp Coffee Essence.  The overwhelming memory is of that length.  Quite a remarkable wine, both in the context of a single variety wine and also given its historical significance.

Source: Retail, Cru Bar
Price: $75 ($45 on release)
Alcohol: 16%
Closure: Cork

Follow me on twitter:


  1. Any left?
    Great write up Stu. Indeed a special variety. Old vines seem to be coming back into vogue. A great result for all!

  2. You should do a "parental" tasting of the Old Garden and the Baby Bush which is from cuttings from Old Garden vines. Very interesting.

    The similarities are like meeting a father and son. Same qualities in certain respects but one just needs a little more development.