The Henschke family have been making wine at their estate in the Eden Valley since 1868. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke took over running 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 great viticulture from Prue, who is at the forefront of re-introducing native plants into their vineyards to improve biodiversity, and winemaking from Stephen, they have built upon their inheritance and turned this traditional producer into one that is recognised by savvy wine drinkers throughout the world.
In addition to their estate fruit, Stephen and Prue Henschke also buy grapes from Barossa growers, with whom they’ve been dealing for decades, to make 'Henry’s Seven'. This blend is a tribute to Henry Evans, who planted the first vineyard of seven acres at Keyneton in 1853.
A wet winter in 2016 gave Henschke a good foundation for their predominantly ungrafted, dry-grown vines in their Eden Valley vineyard. A cool, wet and fiercely windy spring followed, with slightly higher spring rainfall than the Barossa Valley, which delayed flowering, although conditions during fruit set resulted in average yields. A mild summer with regular rain showers followed, which allowed the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. The heavy rainfall largely missed Henschke's vineyards and they were able to harvest the majority of their grapes in healthy condition. A later start to picking and a mild period of ripening finished with the last grapes being picked in mid-May. As always, careful hand picking in the vineyard and sorting of grapes as they were processed made sure that quality was not compromised.
Fermentation took place in traditional concrete open-top fermenters. The Shiraz was co-fermented with the Viognier, and later blended with separate parcels of Grenache and Mataro. The wine then spent 10 months in seasoned French oak hogsheads, of which 10% were new.
Deep garnet with violet hues. A striking bouquet of ripe plum, raspberry, blueberry and notes of blackberry intertwine with savoury notes of cracked black pepper, flowering herbs, fresh tarragon and bay leaf. Dark plum, berry compote, rhubarb and raspberry flavours lead to a peppery mid-palate of vibrant red berry acidity and fine-grained tannins, finishing with lingering flavours of mulberry and black pepper.
|Grape Varieties||67% Syrah/Shiraz
|Notes||Sustainable, Vegan, Vegetarian, Practising Biodynamic