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Hesketh Wines

Barossa Valley Negroamaro

A naturally earthy and aromatic wine, our Negroamaro is aged for 10 months in predominantly older (90%) French oak hogsheads to ensure an approachable style and well balanced finish. A medium bodied and fruit forward wine with gentle acidity; well suited to food pairing or simply delicious on its own.


Vintages and Tasting notes

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

(Click to download PDF)

Wine Press and Accolades

91 points - James Halliday Wine Magazine - December/January 2019 edition – Nov 2018

Halfway between a rose and a conventional light-bodied dry red, this is a bright, light, transparent crimson wine. It sends a big come-on message with its dangerously delicious silky, juicy ad bright small red fruits (redcurrant, strawberry). You could chill it like a white wine in summer. 5 stars.

92 points - Halliday Wine Companion – Jul 2018

Grown by the Kalleske family on their amazing vineyard in Koonunga, amazing because of the number of varieties grown, matured in used French hogsheads for 8 months. This is a very, very seductive style, crystallised fruits dipped in dark chocolate, but held in restraint by the modest alcohol. Good length too.

90 points – Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front – May 2017

“The vines are 12 years old; they’re grown by the Kalleske family; they grow in the Koonunga Hill sub-region. Great drinking. Lively, savoury, fruity and structural at once. Not a heavy or intense wine but has a clear presence. Bonox, cranberry, boysenberry, roasted nut and woody spice notes. Almost a touch of balsamic. Intriguing. Interesting. Succulent. Many things to like. ”

90 points – Ralph Kyte Powell - Good Food – Mar 2017

“A delicious Barossa fruit bomb from the southern Italian red grape negroamaro. Medium-bodied, ripe and soft, it has a real Mediterranean good life feel. ”

94 points – Tony Keys - The Key Report – Sep 2016

“A southern Italian cultivar that has found a home in the Spanish-named Barossa Valley in South Australia, noted for its Germanic settlers. Truly multicultural. It has that damp earth nose, and the earthiness carries through to the palate, underscoring the wine throughout the journey. The raw edge is tempered with richer, dark fruit characters. It’s a wine that not only pleases but also offers some intellectual pleasure. 94 points and worth $25 ”

91 points – Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front – Aug 2016

“Yes. This is a winner. Not deep, but characterful. You want to drink it. You want to recommend it. It’s not a ‘blokey’ red so you wouldn’t want to recommend it to anyone too old school, but the earth, berry, leather and liquorice root flavours – all set in a tangy, refreshing context – make it excellent fodder for the dinner table. ”

4.5 stars – Tony Love, The Advertiser – Jun 2016

“It’s a long way from Italy’s south-east Puglia region to the Barossa, and if this version is any example, hopefully, the tiny volumes made will grow in time. Its fabulous dark colour is most engaging, dark fruit cake smells furthering the interest. Fortunately, it is minus any dried-out fruit characters. Lovely vanilla cola layers give it a creamy sweet sense as the palate flows with soft acidity and tannin – it’s very tasty and approachable.”

95 points – Tony Keys - The Key Report – Mar 2016

“Yet another southern Italian variety that is proving a second home can be found in Australia. These vines were planted in the Barossa Valley and are now 15 years old. A brooding style of wine that at first sits quietly at the beginning of the palate then unfurls lazily as it travels, but with great presence and authority. 95 points and good value at $25.”

90 points – Gary Walsh - The Wine Front – May 2015

“This is a good go at Negroamaro, though the level of alcohol and punch is perhaps a little over what I’d prefer. Plum, spice, licorice and sarsaparilla with a lovely baked earth and new leather bass. Generous palate featuring plums laden with spice – a bit like the Kylie Kwong duck dish, if I may digress – grainy tannin and balanced acidity. Almost sticky feel, especially as the tannin closes in on the finish, punctuated with amaro herbs. Like this. Hearty wine. Good to drink”

92 points – Kim Brebach – May 2015

“Jonathon Hesketh and Phil Lehmann make a range of wines from traditional and alternative varieties, including Portugal’s touriga, Spain’s tempranillo and Italy’s negroamaro. From Puglia, southern Italy, negroamaro tends to make full, fruity wines to drink young. Hesketh 2014 fits that general description in a vigorous, fresh, clean Australian way. Fruit flavour, reminiscent of ripe, dark cherries, gives the palate a dense, deep sweetness, which is offset by mildly astringent, drying tannins.”

93 points – Kim Brebach – May 2015

“How often do you get a chance to try exotic wines like this? So exotic I had to look it up. Wine-searcher.com tells us that Negroamaro is a dark-skinned grape variety from the Puglia region in southern Italy, ‘often found in blends with Sangiovese or Montepulciano. Negroamaro is valued for its deep color, medium-full tannins and dark berryfruit flavors.’ Phil Lehmann (the late Peter’s youngest son) oversees winemaking for the Hesketh family, which includes John Vickery Riesling, St John’s Road and Parker Coonawarra. This wine from the Small Parcels range combines the rustic earthiness of Primitivo with the gamey aromatics of ripe Barossa Mataro and the spice and pepper of good Shiraz. It’s forward and will be good drinking for the next year or two, and it’s a terrific food wine that will flatter a good Goulash or slow cooked lamb shoulder.”

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