Vintage: 2018

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2018HE502B186 x 75VinolokAvailable
Producer

The Henschke family have been making wine at their estate in the Eden Valley since 1868, with fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke taking over the winery in 1979. Together with his viticulturist wife, Prue, they have taken their two single vineyards, ‘Hill of Grace’ and Mount ‘Edelstone’ and transformed them into two of Australia’s most sought-after wines. Through a combination of Stephen’s winemaking and great viticulture from Prue, who has re-introduced native plants in their vineyards to improve biodiversity, they have built upon their inheritance and turned this traditional producer into one celebrated worldwide. The original 1860s grain barn at the family property in Keyneton, built from field stone and mud by first-generation winemaker Johann Christian Henschke, now houses the Henschke cellar door. The winery occupies the original wool shed, built next to the grain barn in 1952.

Henschke own three vineyards in the Eden Valley and one in the Adelaide Hills, all of which are farmed in line with biodynamic principles. The eight-hectare ‘Hill of Grace’ vineyard is situated in the historic village of Parrot Hill, four kilometres northwest of Henschke Cellars. First planted in 1860, it was purchased by second-generation Paul Gotthard Henschke in 1891. However, it was not until 1958 that fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke made the first single-vineyard Shiraz bottling from the grapes grown here. ‘Hill of Roses’ is produced from a small selection of low-yielding, dry-grown Shiraz vines from the ‘Hill of Grace’ Vineyard. Planted as a nursery block in 1989, these vines are currently too young to be considered for inclusion in the ‘Hill of Grace’. Cyril purchased the nearby 16-hectare ‘Mount Edelstone’ vineyard in 1974, from which he had already been buying fruit and making ‘Mount Edelstone’ Shiraz for over 20 years. The 2017 vintage represents the 65th release of this unique wine, making it Australia’s longest consecutively made single-vineyard Shiraz.

In 1966, Cyril purchased 32 hectares of land on Cranes Range Road, two kilometres west of Henschke Cellars. Here, he planted the Henschke Eden Valley vineyard with predominantly Riesling and Shiraz, although other varieties, including Semillon, were added over the years. Today, the Riesling is the source of the ‘Julius’ Eden Valley Riesling and the Semillon goes into the ‘Louis’ Eden Valley Semillon. The ‘Wheelwright’ Shiraz, only released as a single vineyard Shiraz for the first time in 2015, comes from a 1.6-hectare plot in this vineyard. This is the family’s coolest, most southerly, north-facing site. Planted on sandy soils, not far from the north-western Adelaide Hills, the resulting Shiraz expression is very distinct.

Other parcels of Shiraz are blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc to make ‘Keyneton Euphonium’, which Jancis Robinson describes as “an Australian classic at a less than iconic price.” Cyril bottled his first Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard in 1976. This cool, elegant wine was named in tribute of Cyril when he passed away in 1979.

In 1981, Stephen and Prue realised the exciting potential of the Adelaide Hills region. They purchased a 13-hectare vineyard in Lenswood, covered in orchards, with beautiful steep slopes and stunning views towards the Eden Valley. They originally established this vineyard for research and development purposes, to influence the fruit quality in older Henschke vineyards. Various clones of numerous grape varieties were planted, including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit quality here led Stephen and Prue to incorporate wines from the ‘Lenswood’ vineyard into the Henschke range. Currently, the ‘Lenswood’ vineyard is undergoing regeneration after the devastating fires in December 2019.

In addition to their estate fruit, Stephen and Prue also buy fruit from growers with whom they’ve been dealing for decades. They use this to make their ‘Henry’s Seven’, a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro and Viognier, and the ‘Johann’s Garden’ Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz. ‘Peggy’s Hill’ Riesling takes its name from a local landmark at the top of the range between the villages of Eden Valley and Keyneton. It is produced from selected Eden Valley growers and displays similar characteristics to the ‘Julius’, yet in a softer and rounder, early drinking style.

Vineyards

In 1966, Cyril Henschke purchased 32 hectares of land on Cranes Range Road, two kilometres west of Henschke Cellars at 500 metres above sea level. Here he planted the Henschke Eden Valley vineyard, predominantly with Riesling and Shiraz, on a north-facing slope made up of sandy loam soils over gravel and bedrock, with patches of clay. Other varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, were added over the years. Cyril bottled his first Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard in 1976. This cool, elegant wine was named after him as a tribute when he passed away in 1979.

Vintage

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that the vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry, ensuring healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically warm and dry, characterised by above-average overnight temperatures. The old-vine vineyards coped well with the warm nights, their deep roots able to withstand the warming and drying effect on the topsoil, maturing the balanced crops as autumn approached. March and April provided light and warmth to the Eden Valley which led to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. With warm sunny days and cool nights, the dry autumn guaranteed that pristinely healthy grapes arrived in the fermenters.

Vinification

Grapes were hand-harvested in the cool of the morning. This single vineyard was divided up into separate parcels with top, middle and bottom of the slope picked separately. Each parcel remained separate throughout the vinification process. Once in the winery, the grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed into traditional, concrete, open-top fermenters. A submerged cap was performed in order to manage a slow tannin extraction. The fermentations were controlled with pump-overs being performed twice daily. After 7-10 days and just prior to reaching dryness, the fermentations were gently pressed to barrel with the primary fermentation finishing in French oak (10% new and 90% seasoned) hogshead barrels. The wine matured for 18 months in oak before blending and bottling. The wine was aged in bottle for a further two years before its release.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Deep garnet with garnet hues. Lively and fragrant aromas of crushed flowering herbs, violets, briary blackberry, plum, black cherry and cassis, with subtle forest and cedar notes. A rich, supple and complex palate of dark forest berries, dark chocolate, cooking spices and liquorice, interlaced with fresh acidity and a long, savoury finish of fine-grained tannins.

Alcohol (ABV)

14.5%

Acidity

6.2 g/l

pH

3.65

Other wines from this producer

Producer
Wine
Product Code
Features
Style
Henschke`Hill of Grace` Eden Valley ShirazHE501
R
Red
Factsheet
`Mount Edelstone` Eden Valley ShirazHE503
R
Red
Factsheet
`Keyneton Euphonium` Barossa Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet FrancHE504
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
R
Red
Factsheet
`Johann's Garden` Barossa Valley Grenache/Mataro/ShirazHE505
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
R
Red
Factsheet
`Henry's Seven` Barossa Shiraz/Grenache/Mataro/ViognierHE506
R
Red
Factsheet
`Julius` Eden Valley RieslingHE508
W
White
Factsheet
`Louis` Eden Valley SemillonHE509
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
W
White
`Hill of Roses` Eden Valley ShirazHE515
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
R
Red
Factsheet
`The Wheelwright` Eden Valley ShirazHE517
R
Red
`Peggy's Hill` Eden Valley RieslingHE519
Vegetarian
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
W
White
Factsheet