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 inaugural release of The Wheelwright commemorates 150 years of family winemaking and pays tribute to the ‘founding father’ of Henschke, Johann Christian Henschke. He was the first generation of the early Barossa German pioneers of South Australia, a winemaker who established the family winery in 1868. Johann Christian arrived as a skilled stonemason and wheelwright and planted his first vineyards in the high country of the picturesque Eden Valley. This wine is produced from Old-Vine shiraz planted in 1968, a century later, by fourth-generation Cyril Henschke. Decanting is recommended before serving.
Very dark crimson in colour. Lifted aromas of red fruits, Satsuma plum and blackberry harmonise with hints of bay leaf, sage, rosemary and clove, while savoury complexities and cedar notes lift and add definition. A complex and elegantly structured wine with concentrated flavours of blackberry, spiced plum and wild red berries is layered with nuances of crushed rosemary, bay leaf and black pepper. A seductive mid-palate of great depth and rolling velvety tannins lead to a deliciously long, plush finish.
Perfumed red of red berry fruits, fragrant pepper and sweet spice, whiffs of liquorice, milk chocolate. Lots going on in perfume. Slides through the palate in a seamless sluice of dark fruits, high toned spice, green herb. It’s a medium weight yet quietly powerful red here. Long in flavour, palate staining, but sleek in a way too. Muscle car with a high polish. A formidable release. Tasted: Jun 18; Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $130; Closure: Glass Stopper; Drink: 2018-2035+; Rated: 95 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
Commemorates 150 years of family winemaking, crafted from 50yo vines. It is a vibrantly fresh and aromatic wine with elegance and finesse its cornerstones as it slips through the net of full-bodied shiraz. Its fruit flavours are as much red as black, and you can sense the tan but not actually taste them. Sheer beauty. Drink by: 2065; Price: $130.00; Date Tasted: Sept 2018; Alcohol: 14.5%; Rating: 97 Points; Top 100 Wines for 2018; James Halliday Wine Companion
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