Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
From an elite site between Seaview Ridge and Blewitt Springs in the McLaren Vale, cropping at a bit over two tonnes an acre. As a single vineyard wine, a limited quantity of Mad Hatter is made each year. Mad Hatter is not a reference to Alice in wonderland, rather it is the nickname Dean Hewitson's closest friends have called him for many years. And why mad? Anyone who has spent more than five minutes with Hewitson will surely be able to explain.
Dean Hewitson was shut away in a tasting room with Len Evans, evaluating what Evans considered to be the nation's finest. Evans spoke of broader concepts like breeding, structure, power and the background story which gave wines context. This changed the way Dean Hewitson thought about wine and is at the heart of everything he does today. A huge amount of work goes into Mad Hatter Shiraz, finding the right oak to support the fruit. Extensive barrel samplings are made every six months to determine the ideal balance and cooperages. After three weeks fermentation on skins, Mad Hatter is matured twenty months on lees in a selection of completely new French oak, achieving remarkable integration and complexity.
Rich, intense appearance with a deep, inky, purple colour. Hedonistic aromas of licorice, creme de cassis, blackberries, flowers, minerals and spice strike the nose. These aromas are followed by an even more powerful, concentrated mid-palate with superb flavours of chocolate, blackberry and mocha coupled with fine ripe tannins. The finish is long and multi dimensional. Approachable now and will cellar well.