Reviews & Articles
The Mad Hatter Shiraz 2006
“Ripe, dense, and powerful” 90+ points
Jay Miller, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate on Oct-2009
The 2006 The Mad Hatter Shiraz is opaque purple colored with an aromatic array of scorched earth, tar, beef blood, black currant, and blueberry. Ripe, dense, and powerful in the mouth, this savory, balanced, lengthy effort will evolve for 4-6 years and drink well through 2021.
2006 The Mad Hatter Shiraz - 91 points
Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar on Sep-2009
Score: 91 points
Deep, bright violet. Intensely floral bouquet displays dark berries, cola, violet, wilted rose and Asian spices. Fleshy and smooth in texture, offering sweet dark berry flavors and betraying no rough edges. Impressively sappy on the finish, which strongly repeats the floral and cola notes.
The Mad Hatter 2006
Edward Ragg, Dragon and Phoenix Wine Blog on Sep-2009
Score 17.5 of 20
Appearance: dark purple.
Nose: intense clove on the first nose followed up by perfumed, bright black cherry and a touch of blueberry fruit. Oak is very well integrated.
Palate: very tight and 'young' on the palate just now with close-knit and slightly grainy medium-high tannins, medium acidity and very high, but balanced alcohol. Lovely length too.
Conclusion: this wine has to be decanted to be enjoyed at this stage. It is immensely elegant, but a little closed just now. At this tasting I deliberately kept a decent quantity in my glass for 20-30 minutes and the Mad Hatter opened out gloriously. It will be even better with suitable bottle ageing. Try from 2011 for best results. It can age up to 2016 no problem.
06 The Mad Hatter Shiraz – “94 points”
James Halliday, Wine Compendium/ Australian Wine Companion on Aug-2009
A single-vineyard wine with 20 months in French oak, which is counter-cultural in its elegant, medium-bodied profile and moderate alcohol; red fruits and touches of mocha and chocolate predominate.
06 The Mad Hatter “… Australia’s best Shiraz wines from the 2006 vintage”
Winewise on Apr-2009
"There was a suggestion that the Winewise crew go out to a restaurant and drink some good wine to celebrate our 25th birthday. The editor pointed out that could be done any time, and suggested something enjoyable that we could share with our readers - a tasting of Australia's best Shiraz wines from the 2006 vintage.
…2006 Hewitson The Mad Hatter McLaren Vale Shiraz
it's a biggy, but it's all under control. Ripe, ripe, ripe but still fresh - just avoiding the blackberry jam stage."
14.5% Screwcap Vol. 25 No 1
06 The Mad Hatter - "92 points...dense and powerful..will continue to unwind over the next 6-8 years..."
Jay Miller, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
The 2006 Shiraz The Mad Hatter spent 21 months in new French oak. Purple coloured, it delivers an alluring perfume of pain grillé, black pepper, plum, blueberry and blackberry. Dense and powerful on the palate, this layered Shiraz will continue to unwind over the next 6-8 years and provide prime drinking from 2015 to 2030.
06 The Mad Hatter- "WBM 2008 The Year’s Top 100"
Nick Stock, WBM100
"Recently celebrating 10 years of winemaking under his own eponymous banner, Hewitson's big gun Shiraz is full of ripe dark fruits and spicy lift, really rich and fresh. The palate has impressive curvy lines of fine tannin and deeply ripe fruit that bowl through the finish with pace and drive."
Read review (PDF: 233 kB)
06 The Mad Hatter- "shows terrific intensity and richness"
Nick Stock, The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2009 on Oct-2008
"Great McLaren Vale shiraz marries richness and softness in an irresistibly charming fashion. The brightness of the '06 is striking; it delves headlong into pure ripe dark berries and spicy lifted fruits, and has already eaten up the oak, shows terrific intensity and richness. The palate has great drive and direction, delivering deep plum and spice flavours with finesse, rolled out on plush ripe tannins; long, composed finish."
06 The Mad Hatter- "It is pure and precise from start to finish"
Gourmet Traveller Wine on Oct-2008
"This McLaren Vale cuvee shows impressive brightness and really delves into pure ripe dark berry and spicy lifted fruit. It has already eaten the oak, terrific intensity and richness, great palate drive, very direct. Hewitson's worked real finesse into this fruit. It is pure and precise from start to finish." Nick Stock
06 The Mad Hatter- "palate has impressive power and balance"
The Adelaide Review 2008 HOT100 South Australian Wines on Oct-2008
"The brightness of this 06 Mad Hatter is striking, it delves headlong into pure ripe dark berries and spicy lifted fruits and has already eaten up the oak. The palate has impressive power and balance, delivering deep plum and spice flavour with finesse, rolled out onto plush ripe tannins; long, composed finish." Issue 344
06 The Mad Hatter- "pristine oak lying underneath"
Tony Love, The Advertiser on 24-Sep-2008
"Big, round red-grape berry beginnings, though holding back its full personality right now, a lick of licorice coming through, pristine oak lying underneath- all new French- so the fruit needs heaps of power built into it to keep the whole wine in balance. Its best is yet to come."
View review (PDF: 1.96 MB)
06 The Mad Hatter- "this has balance, charm and drinkability"
Gourmet Traveller Wine on Sep-2008
"Hewitson's style is at the more elegant end of the McLaren Vale spectrum, and that means this has balance, charm and drinkability. Smoky, plummy aromas, medium bodied and not oaky. A very agreeable drinking shiraz." Huon Hooke
View review (PDF: 773 kB)
06 The Mad Hatter- "The palate seduces"
Christopher Hayes, www.eatanddrink.com.au on Jul-2008
"Lots of winemakers claim their latest releases are the "best ever" and, with a relatively new label, this is possibly the case. However the 2002, 2004 and 2005 Mad Hatters were all very good - a testament to the Blewitt Springs vineyard that produces the fruit for this wine. Without lining them all up I'm not going to say this is the best, however it is arguably the most charming I've seen on release. Red fruits dominate - cherry, quince and pomegranate with a core of sweet liquorice and soft spices - all very fragrant and attractive. The palate seduces but has a backbone of fine tannins that is hidden behind the charming cloak of fruit and silky mouthfeel. Despite its immediate charm it will gain with several years cellaring."
06 The Mad Hatter- 96 points in WBM100!
Nick Stock, WBM100 on Jun-2008
"Recently celebrating 10 years of winemaking under his own eponymous banner, Hewitson's big gun Shiraz is full of ripe, dark fruits and spicy lift, really rich and fresh. The palate has impressive curvy lines of fine tannin and deeply ripe fruit that bowl through the finish with pace and drive."
View review (PDF: 200 kB)
06 The Mad Hatter- "I’m not sure McLaren Vale shiraz gets any better than this..."
www.winorama.com.au on 10-Jun-2008
"I'm not sure McLaren Vale shiraz gets any better than this..
There's a whole spectrum of fruit splashing about with blackcurrant, blackberry and assorted red fruits, liquorice, spice, new suede leather and equally complex layers of oak seasoning. It's all just really very beautiful and the overall impression is of a seamless wine that is silken, yet appropriately tannic, fresh and clean with oak and fruit in perfect harmony and a delicious chocolaty character thrown in for good measure. It drinks fabulously well know, and I'm pretty sure it will age a treat too. It's all about balance and finesse. I tips me hat to Hewitson." Gary Walsh
Rated: 96 Points
Tasted : Jun08
Alcohol : 14.3%
Price : $70
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2008 - 2017+
Source : Winery Sample
06 The Mad Hatter- Vertical tasting, April 2008
Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front on 07-May-2008
"Lots of juicy, plummy, cedary flavour. Tastes soft, smooth and delicious, with the perfect weighting of fruit and oak. Pure. Almost has an elegance, despite its obvious deliciousness. Yummo. Substantial, smooth, complex. Drink: 2009-2016."