Below is a snapshot of the most recent releases from Dean Hewitson - a big, affable Aussie who, in the classic vernacular, could 'talk for Australia'. Suitably then, his wines are big, firm and utterly reflective of its origins. To further sweeten the deal, the prices on offer are entirely realistic - good to see.
All the wines here where good drinks, but really failed to excite in the sort of stand up tasting format they were served in. Most need a lay down in the cellar, some for extended periods, before they will truly satisfy - I found hardness all through the range. These wines also served as a reminder of a few tough vintages in the Barossa, 07 in particular a hard drought year that showed in the wines (to my tastes at least).
Hewitson 'Lulu' Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2008
I'm no fan of the 08 Adelaide Hills Savvies - many seem heat affected and overly forward, & this was no exception. This was sweaty & ripe, with advancing grassy tropical fruit that was awkward and rather bland. Not for me. 15
Hewitson 'Gun Metal' Riesling 2008
Gun Metal is the apt descriptor for this smoky & slatey Riesling. A flush of sherbet, but otherwise its so stony that its actually a hard drink right now, the raspy acidity dominating the finish. A keeper, but not for immediate consumption. In 3-5 it will be a beauty. 16+++
Hewitson 'Miss Harry' GSM 2007
Ripe curranty & grenachey. Lots of red berried Grenache jumping out of the glass, but there is also a soupyness to the fruit that comes across as forced. On the palate its got plenty of spicy red fruit & fruitcake, some polished vanilla oak at the edges, but again that hardness. A solid light to medium bodied drinker, but also suffering from the vagaries of the vintage. 16.5
Hewitson 'Ned & Henrys' Shiraz 2007
Very dense nose. Black & blue fruit, veiled behind French oak. Tight. Palate is much more open compared to the nose, with luscious warm fruit and astringent oak tannins through the middle. Still way too young. Alcohol a little obvious on the finish. Ultimately its a nice drinking wine in a ripe medium bodied mould, if a lesser, more forward vintage for this label. Should improve with bottle time regardless. 16.5++
Hewitson 'Baby Bush' Mourvedre 2006
Now we are talking. Meaty, animale hint to the licorice and blueberry nose, with smoky red fruit and real savoury flavour. This was a little light, but in this form it came across as pure and interesting. 17+
Hewitson 'Old Garden' Mourvedre 2007
Closed, malted caramel oak nose with that same soupyness I picked up in the Miss Harry. The palate though is quite attractive, with lovely leathery fruit in the cranberries & meat lovers pizza spectrum. Great intensity and savoury, spicy interest, if too young to be enjoyed as yet. Good stuff, just in need of some down time to come together. 17.5+++
Hewitson 'Old Garden' Mourvedre 2006
Far too backwards for immediate drinking. Darker, blacker than the 07. Grainy French oak is the only thing escaping. A bit of roasted beef, some dark red fruit, but otherwise its all so very elemental that its hard to judge as yet. Sneaky tannins.The score is lesser than the 07, but in time it could well be reversed. Really needs to be drunk over several days, as it didn't even budge over dinner. 17+++
Hewitson 'Old Garden' Mourvedre 2000
From another tough vintage in the Barossa (quite like 07 actually), this was interesting enough but not all that convincing a drink. Maturing, smoky nose of soil, leaf mulch & bacon bits. Palate is a little stewed and forced with a big hole in the back end. Awkward finish as acid rises up. Drinkable & solid but not overly appealing. 16
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