Wine review — Rolling, Hewitson and Mud House

Hewitson Baby Bush Barossa Valley Grenache 2011
Even in the cold, wet 2011 vintage Dean Hewitson produced a delicious mourvedre, a very late-ripening variety. The wine seems a tad lighter in colour than usual, though being mourvedre, that’s still pretty dark. It’s also a little lighter bodied and shows more pronounced peppery and spicy notes. But the medium body and spicy flavour suits the fine, grippy tannins, which add a savoury dimension. Hewitson makes the wine from bush vines he established from cuttings off old southern-Barossa vines planted in 1853.

Rolling Central Ranges Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2012 $18.95
The vineyards at Cumulus Estate wines roll in and out of the official Orange winemaking district. Vines situated below Orange’s defined altitude claim the “Central Ranges” appellation and are released under the Rolling label. The latest release is the first appearance of the late-ripening varieties grenache and mourvedre, though the two were planted in 1999. The unoaked wine comprises 48 per cent grenache, 40 per cent shiraz and the rest mourvedre. Medium bodied, spicy and peppery with vibrant fruit and fine soft tannins, the wine offers quite a departure from the bigger styles from Australia’s warmer areas.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $18–$22
The massive flood of Marlborough sauvignon blanc now washing around the world began as a trickle in the early eighties. Montana, now Brancott Estate, planted its first vines there in 1973 and by 1981 had attracted some attention in Australia. But chardonnay dominated the dry-wine market in Australia until the late nineties and was finally swamped by sauvignon blanc early in the new century. Marlborough’s cool but sunny climate and broad acre plantings make the mass production of the style seemingly effortless – wines like Mud House that flaunt the variety’s pungent, grassy, capsicum-like flavours and fleshy mid palate.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 26 May 2013 in the Canberra Times