Hewitson The Old Garden Single Vineyard 1853 Mourvèdre 2018
This is a bit special. The vines were originally planted in 1853 – the oldest Mourvèdre vines on the planet. The ‘Old Garden’ vineyard is world famous. America’s ‘Wine Enthusiast’ magazine named the ten vineyards behind the ‘world’s most famous wines’. The list includes legendary vineyards like Romanée-Conti, Montrachet, Clos des Goisses, Cannubi and more. From Australia, only the ‘Old Garden’ made the cut. That’s pretty cool.
The vineyard at Rowland Flat is dry-grown and the vines are all pre-phylloxera. Only eight rows contribute to this wine. The vineyard has been tended by Friedrich Koch and his direct descendants, across three centuries. It was Friedrich who originally planted the vineyard in 1853.
And the wine more than matches the hype. If there is a better Mourvèdre, I’m keen to see it. Under cork in the super-heavy bottle with the monster punt, the colour is a slightly fading red. The nose is an array of soft dry herbs, tobacco box characters, spices, black fruits, coffee grinds and mocha. The palate offers appealing savouriness, great intensity and extraordinary length. There is complexity here and an enticing slippery texture, through to cushiony tannins. The focus is excellent and the balance immaculate throughout. A great future beckons. Not sure Mourvèdre is done better anywhere.