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Henschke

Henschke The Wheelwright Shiraz 2018

Henschke The Wheelwright Shiraz 2018

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The prestigious Australian winery Henschke has remained a family-owned establishment for over 153 years and six generations. Situated in Keyneton, South Australia, within the esteemed Eden Valley wine region, Henschke proudly stands as a distinguished member of Australia's First Families of Wine. Since its inception in 1862, when Johann Christian Henschke planted a modest vineyard in Keyneton, the Henschke family has continuously crafted exceptional wines, forging a legacy of excellence with vineyards in the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, including acclaimed single-vineyards, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone.

The fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Carl Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue took over the operation of the winery in 1979 and they are recognised around the world for their exceptional quality wines, innovative spirit, focus on restoring native vegetation, organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard. Johann Stephen Henschke, the eldest of Stephen and Prue’s three children has become the sixth generation member of the Henschke family since 1983. With the background of higher education in wine making, viticulture and oenology, Johann is now based at the family winery as winemaker and viticulturist while playing an important role of transferring his skill set and knowledge from the fifth to sixth generation. As the next generation prepares to navigate the well-documented challenges that lie ahead, Johann recognizes the indispensability of innovation and meticulous strategic planning. However, amidst these considerations, he firmly believes in upholding the time-honoured winemaking techniques that have been cherished by the Henschke family for generations. By ensuring that the legacy of Henschke is nurtured with the same prudence and care as it has always been, Johann and his peers can pass on a heritage that will endure and command the same esteemed reputation that it enjoys today.

Henschke's commitment to excellence and sustainable wine production has garnered well-deserved recognition and accolades. In 2021, the winery was honoured as the Wine Enthusiast New World Winery of the Year, a testament to their exceptional craftsmanship and dedication to pushing the boundaries of winemaking in the New World. Furthermore, Henschke was also named the Winery of the Year by the prestigious Halliday Wine Companion, solidifying their position as a leader in the industry. Additionally, Henschke's unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmentally conscious practices has been acknowledged with the prestigious Robert Parker Wine Advocate Green Emblem. This recognition highlights their remarkable efforts in reducing environmental impact while producing outstanding wines. Henschke's unwavering pursuit of excellence and dedication to sustainable practices make them a true icon in the world of wine.

The Wheelwright pays tribute to the founding father of the Henschke winery and vineyards, winemaker Johann Christian Henschke. He was among the first generation of the early Barossa German pioneers of South Australia, and established the family winery in 1868. Johann Christian arrived as a skilled stonemason and wheelwright and planted his first vineyards in the high country of the picturesque Eden Valley. This wine is produced from Old-Vine shiraz planted in 1968, a century later, by fourth-generation Cyril Henschke. This wine is produced from old vine shiraz planted in 1968, a century later, by fourth-generation Cyril Henschke near the village of Eden Valley at 500m altitude. As per the Barossa Old Vine Charter, an old vine is equal to or greater than 35 years of age

A moderately wet winter combined with average spring conditions meant that the vines grew well in the mild weather. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring/early summer led to the potential for near-average yields. Late December became warm and dry, ensuring healthy canopies with low disease pressure. The summer months of January and February were typically warm and dry, characterised by above average overnight temperatures. The old-vine vineyards coped well with the warm nights, their deep roots able to withstand the warming and drying effect on the topsoil, maturing the balanced crops as autumn approached March and April provided light and warmth to the Eden Valley which led to fall and balanced maturity being achieved across all grape varieties. With warm sunny days and cool nights, the dry autumn guaranteed that pristinely healthy grapes arrived in the fermenters. All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of the decade, shiraz was certainly one of the highlights of the season, fittingly so in the year we celebrated our 150th anniversary of family winemaking. Matured in 21% new and 79% seasoned (65% French, 35% American) oak hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling

Deep ruby with ruby hues. Spicy and vibrant aromas of redcurrant, black cherry, blueberry, red plum, sage, bay leaf and vanilla pod, with lifted notes of white and black pepper, and crushed flowering herbs. The palate is concentrated, plush and textural, with raspberry and boysenberry interwoven with violets, white pepper and olive tapenade, showing excellent depth and beautifully balanced by lifted acidity and elegant, fine velvety tannins on the long finish

An enticing and perfumed nose of heather, dried herbs and lavender with roasted spices, peppercorns and ripe, fresh blueberries. Beguilingly sweet bur ethereal on the palate with lots of grilled Mediterranean herbs that balance any hint of sweetness from the fruit. Polished, satin-like fannins extend in an effortless, lengthy finish - James Suckling, 96 points

Decanting is recommended before serving. In the correct conditions, it could be cellared for 30+ years from vintage. 

The Finer Details
Style - Red Wine
Varietal -  Shiraz
Country - Australia
Region - Eden Valley, South Australia
Vintage - 2018
Bottle Size - 750ml
ABV - 14.5%

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