Henschke Wines Eden Valley
In the mid-to-late 1980s many of these fabulous reds could be bought for a song but eventually the rest of the world got to taste them and this, added to the explosion in wine prices in the 90s, now usually means making do with something cheaper. Since 1979, Stephen Henschke has been fine-tuning these already well-established single-vineyard-based reds while his wife Prue has maintained and gradually renewed the existing vineyard resources. There are now 115 ha of estate vineyards recently converted to biodynamic regime; the largest segment (50 ha) in the Eden Valley.
Carefully seasoned American oak is favoured and red wine fermentations are now finished in new oak. Fabulous fruit in a full, supple, lushly textured wine is the classic Henschke style, with additional depth and dimension in the top wines. The most celebrated, and necessarily expensive vineyard, the 8 ha Hill of Grace, includes a parcel of vines (Grandfathers Block) that date in part from the 1860s. A second label Hill of Roses also comes from the Hill of Grace vineyard. From close by, Mount Edelstone (the first to be bottled separately in 1952) is arguably more consistent, with more pepper and spice character, if missing the extra majesty of Hill of Grace. Cyril Henschke Cabernet, previously entirely Cabernet Sauvignon, now includes a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc and shows superb pure blackberry, cassis fruit and fine grained tannins. The ageing potential of all three top reds is well proven. Abbott’s Prayer is based on Merlot but supplemented by both Cabernets and sees only French oak.
Like the recently introduced Grenache dominated blend, Johann’s Garden, it is almost immediately drinkable but has real depth and concentration too. Newish Henry’s Seven is is a stylish blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Viognier. From a start in the early 1990s whites have steadily improved, particularly the intense, taut and concentrated (and ageworthy) Lenswood Croft Chardonnay and Eden Valley Louis Sémillon. There’s good varietal intensity in Crane’s Chardonnay, Julius Riesling and Joseph’s Hill Gewürztraminer, all from Eden Valley fruit. A second Riesling, Green’s Hill is sourced from the Adelaide Hills as is Littlehampton Pinot Gris (£D). Also made but not tasted are Sauvignon (Coralinga – £D) and Pinot Noir (Giles – £E). Tilly’s Vineyard is a very gluggable blend of Sémillon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon.
To find out more about Henschke and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide here..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …