Henschke Julius Eden Valley Riesling 2018  £29.95

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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 reintroducing 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 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, predominantly with Riesling and Shiraz, on sandy loam soils over gravel and bedrock, with patches of clay. Other varieties were added over the years. This wine is named after ancestor Julius Henschke, a highly acclaimed artist and sculptor.

A moderately wet winter combined with mild spring conditions meant that vines grew well. Ideal flowering conditions in late spring and 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 hot and dry but periods of extreme heat were shorter than in recent memory, characterised instead by well above-average overnight temperatures. The old vines 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. With warm sunny days and cool nights, dry autumn conditions guaranteed that pristine, healthy grapes arrived in the fermenters. All in all, the 2018 vintage will be considered a standout of this decade.

Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks with a neutral yeast. The wine was bottled post-vintage to preserve the delicate aromatic fruit characters.

Pale straw with green hues. Fragrant and focused aromas of lime juice, lime blossom and kaffir lime leaf, with hints of grapefruit zest and green peppercorn. Pure and delicate flavours of lime juice, lemon and pink grapefruit are entwined with fine lime acidity and river pebble minerality, creating a textural mouthfeel and subtley textured finish.

95 Points - Gold - James Halliday's Wine Companion

'Elegant, fresh, crisp, fruit/acid balance spot on, the finish particularly good. Effectively this is a reserve selection.'

James Halliday

90 Points - Silver - The Real Review

'Light straw-yellow hue and a dried herb, dried-floral bouquet, the palate grapy, fruity and soft, with a tickle of sweetness and soft acidity, which renders the wine very approachable in youth. Accessible now, but maybe not for long keeping. The dried-flower aroma is classic Eden Valley.'

Huon Hooke

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