The acclaimed Henschke family, foundation members of Australia’s First Families of Wine, was one of the pioneering families of South Australia when Johann Christian Henschke migrated from Silesia (Germany in 1841). Each generation has contributed to the legend with fourth generation Cyril Henschke pioneering varietal, single-vineyard wines in the 1950s, most famously Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace Shiraz. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen and his viticulturist wife Prue have won many awards for their talent, innovation and integration of vineyard and winery. They lead the way with environmental, biodynamic and organic principles. Henschke wines are handcrafted and deeply personal, reflecting the unique terroir of vineyards: the wine names tell either a personal story of the family or the cultural history of their region.
The Mount Edelstone vineyard, situated in the Eden Valley, was planted in 1912 by Ronald Angas, a descendant of George Fife Angas, who founded South Australia. Unusual for its time, the vineyard was planted solely to shiraz. The ancient 500-million-year-old soils on the vineyard are deep red-brown clay-loam to clay, resulting in low yields from nearly 100-year-old dry-grown ungrafted centenarian vines. First bottled as a single-vineyard wine in 1952, it became recognised as one of Australia’s greatest shiraz wines.
102yo single vineyard, matured in 92% French and 8% American hogsheads (28% new) for 18 months. Only a fraction of the normal crop, as was the case in many parts of SA and Vic. The colour is that of an 18 month-old (not 36 months) shiraz, the aromas of black fruits, licorice and black pepper, the tannins firm and enduring, yet in balance with the powerful fruit. I remain to be convinced this is suited to drinking while the '13 comes around, the best solution is to leave both to themselves for 5 or so years. Drink by: 2044; Price: $225.00; Date Tasted: Jan 2017; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
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