Vintage: 2018

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2018HE504N186 x 75ScrewcapAvailable
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Practising Organic
Practising Biodynamic
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

Keyneton Euphonium is a composition of Shiraz from up to 50-year-old vines growing in the Eden and Barossa Valleys, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from selected vineyards in both regions, some of which were planted by Cyril Henschke at his Eden Valley property in the 1960s. The village of Keyneton, pioneered by pastoralist Joseph Keynes in 1842, was a musical and cultural focus for early settlers, and was home to the Henschke family brass band, founded in 1888. One of their instruments was a B flat euphonium, which has been lovingly restored and remains a Henschke family heirloom.

Vintage

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions gave the vines a good start. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry and assured for healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months were typically hot and dry, although extreme heat periods were shorter than in recent years. Warm weather across March and April led to full and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. The 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade.

Vinification

All grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning. Each parcel was picked and vinified separately. Once in the winery, the grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed into small, concrete or stainless steel open-top fermenters. Pump-overs were performed twice daily, allowing the liquid to be cooled via a heat-exchanger, with air being introduced on the return to the fermenter. After 7-10 days the ferments were gently pressed to barrel with the primary fermentation finishing in 85% French and 15% American oak (19% new and 85% seasoned) hogshead barrels. The wine matured for 18 months before assemblage and bottling, with the wine remaining in bottle for two years before release.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Deep crimson with vibrant ruby hues. Lifted aromas of ripe blackberry, blackcurrant and cassis. There are notes of violets, black pepper and cedar. Rich concentrated flavours of dark plum and blackcurrant. Bright balanced acidity, and excellent length, carried by 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
`Cyril Henschke` Eden Valley Cabernet SauvignonHE502
R
Red
Factsheet
`Mount Edelstone` Eden Valley ShirazHE503
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