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, it 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 over 100 year-old dry-grown, ungrafted centenarian vines. First bottled as a single-vineyard wine in 1952, it became recognised as one of the greatest shiraz wines in Australia.
Excellent colour, deep and youthful with strong purple tints. The bouquet is robust and concentrated, mixed spices, led by pepper and earthy notes, a trace of eucalyptus-mint, rich and dense as it is also in the mouth. A collossus of a wine. There's a lot of charry oak input and this tinges the aftertaste with a little bitterness. A powerhouse of a shiraz, and quite heavily extracted, but also superb. Long-term. Date: March 2021; Drink: 2023 to 2038; Price: $225.00; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 95 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review
Rich, ripe scents, overlay of sandalwood and cedar, new leather and slapped sage leaf, black currants and black olive too. That perfume improves over time, more evocative, more delicious, more everything, fantastic. Slippery, sleek and fine to taste, succulent with a generous side, dark, brooding berry fruits, compote sweet and rich but with a freshness of acidity that counterbalances nicely and the word ‘purity’ comes to mind. Epic wine, so much going on, incredibly detailed and quietly powerful. Wonderful release speaking so fluently of stately old vine and intensity of fruit. Tasted: Mar 2021 Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $225; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2021-2050+; Rated: 96+ Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
The 2016 Mount Edelstone Vineyard Shiraz is steeped in complexity, with aromas ranging from camphor, bay leaf and sage to smoke and grilled beef and from blueberries and blackberries to plums laced with spice. Full-bodied, rich and intense, it's ripe and velvety textured, with a long, licorice-tinged finish and dusty tannins that bode well for the cellar. From vines planted in 1912, I suspect this will come close to the quality of the Hill of Grace at a fraction of the price. Tasted again the following day from the open bottle, this was even better, seamless, flowing and harmonious in the mouth. Date: May 2020; Drink: 2022-2040; Rating: 96 Points; Joe Czerwinski; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Dense, bright purple. An arresting dried herb/nori savouriness to the fore on this wine backed up beautifully by black fruits, loganberry, blueberry and an aromatic swirl of spice.A concentrated palate with a sustained tannin push marks this vintage of Mount Edelstone for me. It’s a tight coil of individual components led by tannin that leads me directly to the cellar. This is a wine assured of a long life. Date Tasted: March 2021; Rating: 96 Points; Jeni Port; Wine Pilot
The vineyard was planted in 1912, hand-picked, matured in 80% French and 20% American hogsheads (19% new). The vintage was challenging, but this shiraz shows no sign of that. It is full-bodied, very complex and very long, the tannins expertly massaged and drawn under the fruit. Blackberry, tar and bitter dark chocolate all contribute to what will be a very long-lived wine. Drink to: 2051; Price: $225.00; Date Tasted: March 2020; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 97 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion
Powerful but unobtrusive tannins – like an engine purring – support dark, perfectly ripe blackberry, mulberry and plum fruit, with hints of strawberry, red fruit leather and smoked charcuterie notes from the oak. Spice and dried herb nuances unfurl over three days, beautifully articulating the terroir and its 104-year-old vines through notes of black pepper, sage, tea tree, star anise, mint and cardamom. Ripe and refreshing redcurrant sustains the sweet, spiced fruit through the long, sinuous finish. Terrific purity, poise and panache. Date: March 2021; Rating: 97 Points; Sarah Ahmed; Decanter
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