Vintage: 2018

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2018HE503B186 x 75ScrewcapContact Us
2018HE503N186 x 75Stelvin LuxAvailable
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

The 16 hectare Mount Edelstone vineyard, situated at 400 metres above sea level 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, only Shiraz was planted. First bottled as a single-vineyard wine in 1952 by Cyril Henschke, Mount Edelstone is the longest continuously produced single-vineyard Shiraz in Australia. The ancient 500-million-year-old soils are deep red-brown clay-loam to clay, resulting in low yields from over 100 year-old dry-farmed, ungrafted centenarian vines. Organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard are supported with undervine mulching and permanent cover crops. Three quarters of the vines are trained on a Scott Henry trellis to increase sun exposure and promote earlier ripening; the remainder are on original two-wire trellises to allow a drooping canopy and reduce shoot vigour.

Vintage

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer lead to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and ensured healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically hot and dry but extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. March and April provided the light and warmth which lead to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade.

Vinification

Shiraz grapes from the 106-year-old vines were hand harvested in the cool of the morning. Individual blocks of this single vineyard were picked separately and remained so throughout the vinification process until the final blend was made. Once in the winery, the grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed into small, 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 77% French and 23% American oak (27% new and 73% seasoned) hogshead barrels. The wine was aged in barrel for 20 months before blending and bottling. It was then aged for a further three years in bottle prior to its release.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Medium garnet with crimson hues. Intense and evocative aromas of briary black currant, blackberry, blueberry, with lifted notes of sage, bay leaf, crushed flowering herbs, black pepper, anise and hints of cedar. The palate is rich and complex with well-defined blackberry, mulberry, red plum and black currant fruit, layered with sage, black pepper and bay leaf, and carried by fine-grained, mature, velvety tannins for an almost endless finish.

Alcohol (ABV)

14.5%

Acidity

6.47 g/l

pH

3.54

Other wines from this producer

Producer
Wine
Product Code
Features
Style
Henschke`Hill of Grace` Eden Valley ShirazHE501
R
Red
Factsheet
`Cyril Henschke` Eden Valley Cabernet SauvignonHE502
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