Henschke `Mount Edelstone` Eden Valley Shiraz 2016
Very deep crimson in colour. Definitive Mount Edelstone shiraz aromas of sage and crushed black pepper lead to brightly spiced plum, blue and black cherry characters, enveloped by crushed flowering herbs with cedar nuances. Vibrant, wild forest berries are layered beautifully into a rich and elegantly textured palate with fine velvety tannins and lingering notes of black pepper and sage for an extremely long finish.
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, it was planted solely to shiraz. The ancient 500 million-year-old soils on the vineyard are deep red-brown clay-loam to clay, resulting in low yields from over 100 year-old dry-grown, 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.
Fermentation took place in traditional, concrete open-top fermenters. The wine was aged in a combination of 78% French and 22% American oak hogsheads, of which 22% were new, for 18 months before blending and bottling.
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.
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