Rare wine review: Hewitson Old Garden Mourvèdre 2019

Tonight I have the pleasure of reviewing a wine from the oldest Mataro vines in the world. It comes from Dean Hewitson, whose Miss Harry GSM was standard-issue wine supply at our uni flat in the mid-2000s.

It’s great to see old mate Deano still going strong. I cannot say the same for that uni flat.

Planted in 1853 and never grafted nor replanted, these are older than any Mourvèdre vines even in the Rhône Valley. This one was a Langton’s auction experiment. While it retails for $100, I was able to secure it at a fair chunk cheaper than that. Thanks Langtons!

The rest of this review began life as a WhatsApp message to my best mate James. At the time, I was doing my best impression of the over-the-top imagery in the wine manga Drops of God (now a TV show on Apple+).

Fair warning: Some very flowery language incoming. The wine’s 14% ABV was defs playing its part.

Excerpt from the wine-themed Japanese manga, Drops of God
I’m not kidding about Drops of God, it’s so great.


Blood-stained ruby, the sacrament crystallised into a precious jewel.


When I smell this wine, I am transported to a meeting place in a bygone era. There’s soft wood paneling everywhere. It’s steamy warm, made worse by my multiple woollen layers, and the scent of coffee, talcum powder and sweet cream lingers.

I am in a cafe in 17th century Europe.

I taste the wine.


I am back in the cafe. I make my way to one of the well-worn leather booths, overhearing wigged merchants discuss the shipping forecasts and exchanging quill-written bearer bonds after losing bets struck via gentleman’s agreements.

Coffee, commerce, vanilla, adventure, jam, tea, prosperity, sweet bread. This wine captures the heady atmosphere of a gathering place of fortune-seekers. From small ideas large oaks grow.

Many businesses will be formed here: insurers, stock exchanges, newspapers, precious metals markets. Many livelihoods will also be lost here. And many more, still, just want to bask in the hubbub, with the fruits of infinite possibility the sweetest of all.