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 Barossa has a core of traditional growers of Lutheran descent dating back five generations, staunchly continuing the traditions of their forebears. Occasionally, one or two parcels of fruit of overwhelming quality come over the weighbridge; this is such an example. The 50-year-old, low-yielding vines are growing in low-fertility Neoproterozoic soils more than 542 million years old, ranging from terra rossa to red-brown earths. The fully ripe black shiraz grapes were sourced from three grower vineyards in Tappa Pass, Light Pass and Eden Valley and were vinified in traditional open-top fermenters.
Deep crimson with purple hues. Concentrated and lifted aromas of black and blue berries and Satsuma plums surrounding hints of bay leaf, tarragon, anise and black pepper spice. The vibrant, richly fruited palate shows plush and complex layers of black and blue fruits, baked plums and cedar, balanced beautifully with texture, natural acidity and fine-grained tannins and a hint of Dutch chocolate, leading to a long finish.
From vines up to 70yo in the Eden and Barossa Valleys, matured in French hogsheads (19% new) for 18 months. This has quite extraordinary depth to its dense crimson-purple hue, a clue to the palate of the wine, which first hit the headlines in '10, and has continued to do so every year since. It is awash with black fruits of every description, tannins and oak folded within the voluminous fruits. The magic of the wine is that it is neither heavy or extractive, just very, very long. Drink to: 2046; Price: $115.00; Date Tasted: Mar 2018; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
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