Vintage: 2021

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2021HE509B216 x 75Stelvin LuxAvailable
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

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, on sandy loam soils over gravel and bedrock, with patches of clay. Originally the ground was cultivated for weed control. Nowadays the vineyard has a permanent sod culture of early-maturing perennial rye and cocksfoot grasses in the row. A wheat straw mulch is used under the vines to retain soil moisture, build up organic matter, and inhibit weed growth. Prediction of disease pressure through an integrated pest management program results in minimal chemical input in the vineyard. Organic and biodynamic practices have been introduced. A reserve selection from over 50-year-old vines is used to make the ‘Louis’ Semillon. The wine is a tribute to Louis Edmund Henschke (1919-1990), the fourth-generation grower of the Hill of Grace vineyard.

Vintage

The 2021 vintage began with average winter rains which were followed by an even budburst. Frost damage was significant for this vintage, and later flowering varieties were impacted by heat in November. Strong winds in December damaged canopies but did assist in the crop remaining disease free. January was dry with a burst of heat prior to perfectly timed rains during verasion in February. Despite the hardships during the growing season, a dry, warm autumn provided the ideal conditions for ripening, with white varieties showing balanced acidity and good aromatics.

Vinification

The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning, with individual blocks picked separately, always remaining separate throughout the vinification process. A small percentage (9%) of wine was aged for 10 months in seasoned French oak barriques to add complexity to the final blend. The remaining 91% was matured in stainless steel on its lees for 10 months, before assemblage and bottling.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

Pale straw with lime green hues. Spicy and fragrant aromas of meadow flowers, clover blossom and citrus zest with hints of red apple, white currant, freshly cut straw and crème brûlée. The palate has lovely weight and texture with creamy complexity of baked peach and grilled lemon, balanced by crisp citrus acidity, and a long mineral finish.

Alcohol (ABV)

12%

Acidity

4.5 g/l

Residual Sugar

1.5 g/l

pH

3.3

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
`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
`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